'Across The Spider-Verse' Producers Drop The Secret To Avoiding 'Superhero Fatigue'

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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller weighed in on “superhero fatigue” in a Rolling Stone interview published days after their superhero movie scored the eighth-best opening weekend ever for an animated film at the box office.

“Superhero fatigue” is a term that’s been sparking debate recently and refers to audiences’ feelings about the volume of superhero movies. The Oscar-winning filmmaking duo spoke about their “secret” to dodging the concept.

“I don’t believe it’s superhero fatigue, I believe it’s ‘a movie that feels like a movie I’ve seen a dozen times before’ fatigue,” Miller said. “If you’re using the same story structure and the same style and the same tone and the same vibe as movies and shows that have come before, it doesn’t matter what genre it is. It’s going to be boring to people.”

Lord added that an audience can’t be “sustained on Easter eggs and reveals” in a movie, either.

Phil Lord (left) and Chris Miller attend the world premiere of
Phil Lord (left) and Chris Miller attend the world premiere of

Phil Lord (left) and Chris Miller attend the world premiere of "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" at Regency Village Theatre on May 30 in Los Angeles.

“Or even these big, crazy multiverse stakes. They only care about, like, the relationship between Rocket Raccoon and Groot. And so this story is just so rooted in parents and kids. And Miles and his family,” Lord said, referring to main character Miles Morales in their latest “Spider-Man” movie.

“Across the Spider-Verse,” a follow-up to the 2019 winner for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, hasn’t strayed far from its predecessor in terms of critics’ reviews with a “certified fresh” status on Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie raked in $120.5 million during its opening weekend, marking the second biggest opening weekend of the year, Polygon reported.

The duo’s comments come after James Gunn, co-chair and co-CEO at DC Studios along with Peter Safran, acknowledged the possibility of superhero fatigue in an April interview with Rolling Stone.

“I think it doesn’t have anything to do with superheroes. It has to do with the kind of stories that get to be told, and if you lose your eye on the ball, which is character. We love Superman. We love Batman. We love Iron Man. Because they’re these incredible characters that we have in our hearts,” Gunn explained. “And if it becomes just a bunch of nonsense onscreen, it gets really boring.”

He added that he gets fatigued by “most spectacle films” and the “grind” of a story that isn’t grounded by emotions.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with whether they’re superhero movies or not,” Gunn said.

“If you don’t have a story at the base of it, just watching things bash each other, no matter how clever those bashing moments are, no matter how clever the designs and the VFX are, it just gets fatiguing, and I think that’s very, very real.”