BIRDMAN Director Alejandro González Iñárritu Comments On The Superhero Craze
González Iñárritu's dark comedy stars Michael Keaton as a has-been superhero actor trying to mount a comeback on Broadway. Click here to read the director's thoughts on why superhero movies aren't for him.
Birdman, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (21 Grams, Babel), is being hailed as an astonishing technical feat and an ambitious examination of fame and identity. Michael Keaton (Batman) stars as a former superhero actor who is trying to make the transition to Broadway. Among many other things, the film plays as a scathing satire blasting Hollywood, critics and superhero fascination all at once. González Iñárritu and his three co-writers sat down with Deadline to discuss the movie after it closed the New York Film Festival. The director discussed superhero movies (he has been offered them in the past) and why they generally don’t appeal to him.
On how much of a coincidence it was that he cast Keaton, Ed Norton and Emma Stone in this:
It got stranger than that. While we were shooting, there were Superman billboards all around us… There’s a scene where the first co-star leaves and Keaton says, bring me a good actor. He names names, like Fassbender, and they’re all off making superhero movies. It invited parody because it’s become like, a bunch of whores. We are all that way.
On whether he would do a superhero movie and his general thoughts:
I would be terrible. I think there’s nothing wrong with being fixated on superheroes when you are 7 years old, but I think there’s a disease in not growing up. The corporation and the hedge funds have a hold on Hollywood and they all want to make money on anything that signifies cinema. When you put $100 million and you get $800 million or $1 billion, it is very hard to convince people. You tell them, you will put in $20 million and you will get $80 million. Now, that is a [frick]ing amazing business, but they say, “$80 million? I want $800 million.” Basically, the room to exhibit good nice films is over. These are taking the place of all those things… I always see [superheroes] as killing people because they do not believe in what you believe, or they are not being who you want them to be. I hate that, and don’t respond to those characters. They have been poison, this cultural genocide, because the audience is so overexposed to plot and explosions and shit that doesn’t mean nothing about the experience of being human… "Superheroes," just the word hero bothers me. What the [frick] does that mean? It’s a false, misleading conception, the superhero. Then, the way they apply violence to it, it’s absolutely right wing... Ultimately, it’s about nothing. It’s a package, and you open the box, and there’s another box, and another, and it doesn’t lead you to the truth.
González Iñárritu does say he occasionally enjoys them as “they are basic and simple and go well with popcorn.” But it seems safe to say that the acclaimed director will not be sitting in the director’s chair for Black Panther or Aquaman! Click the link below for his and his colleagues’ full thoughts.
Birdman opens this Friday, October 17th. The movie was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and written by González Iñárritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo. It stars Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough and Amy Ryan.