What will eventually replace Superhero movies?

At some point superhero movies will die away. I’m sure it will be with a whimper rather than a bang but just like westerns, musicals and movies about the Romans and Egyptians, the superhero genre will cease to be.

New genres of film don’t just arrive with little to no warning. Sam Raimi’s Spiderman movies, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and the lowly Iron Man film began the craze which now dominates the summer and if the studios had their way will dominate it until at least 2020. It could be that there is a new genre ready to sweep the summer dates and we as audiences aren’t quite aware of it yet.

Iron Man helped start the summer superhero craze

If you’d asked me five years ago I would have told you that Young Adult movies may replace the superhero franchises but they have become stunted after the end of The Hunger Games and the pretty lackluster performances of movies like The Divergent and The Maze Runner series. These films continue to be made but don’t quite have the huge impact on the box office they potentially could have.

Science Fiction movies are as close to superhero as we get but they have never really dominated as a genre, just been around as a staple of the summer months. This year sees a belated sequel to Independence Day followed closely by the third Star Trek movie in the rebooted universe. Star Wars was a potential summer crushing movie but Disney and Lucasfilm made the choice to move that to December, creating their own month to destroy the competition.

Star Wars have moved their blockbuster to December

Reboots, re-imaginings and remakes could well have led the way. Star Trek did so well and the idea of bringing back movies which had past glory could be the new frontier in Hollywood. Jurassic World and Mad Max: Fury Road showed there is life in this yet but it seems that for every Jungle Book, there is a Point Break and that although remakes continue, they don’t make the required impact.

The issue will be that Summer Blockbuster means big, huge event cinema and only a few genres offer this. Science Fiction will keep ticking away but fantasy movies could be where the money is made. Game of Thrones dominates the TV screens and this year sees the first in The Warcraft series. If Warcraft is successful, it could deliver a brand new, huge world for audiences to explore and if they can tap into that gaming audience who have made the series such a success, it could well be the money spinner Hollywood studios need to invest in a new genre.

Could Warcraft usher in a fantasy genre takeover?

In fact, there is that other billion-dollar entertainment area that Hollywood haven’t quite been able to crack (no, not that one – get your minds out of the gutter). Video Game movies are notoriously bad and very difficult to bring to the screen. Everything from Super Mario to Final Fantasy has failed and last year a second attempt at a Hitman movie faltered. Maybe Warcraft could remedy this issue and Assassin’s Creed could bring some heavyweight acting to a dead genre, before we get our third Lara Croft movie in the next couple of years.

Or it could be something else. These are just the genres that swim under the surface but all it takes is for someone to create something new or mix together two other genres to design a brand new movie experience for a new craze to begin.

Overall, I’m not sure when superhero movies will stop being the biggest event films of the summer but eventually they will die-out and something will replace it. What this could be is the puzzling thing, from Science-Fiction to Fantasy to even Video Game adaptations when they finally manage to crack it. Let me know your suggestions below.

Maybe it’s time for the video-game adaptations to take their place
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6 comments

  1. After the heartbreak which was “Batman V Superman”, and the amazing farewell party which was “Civil War”, i´m done of superheroes for the moment. I´m playing “ALien Isolation” on the PS3, rewatching “Tron” and “Back to the Future” and re-reading some old Star Trek books. It´s like a homecoming 🙂

  2. Personally I love superhero films, but that’s just because it’s my jam. I love comic book adaptations, it started with the animated material in the 90’s and obviously after 2008 the genre relly started to gain traction with audiences beyond just the fans. However, I can understand that the genre is starting to get on some people’s nerves and just to have a break or change in pace in terms of having another major genre would be helpful.

    The thing is there really isn’t anything that has a compelling grip as much as the superhero genre because they seem to encompass a good few genres within those films. I’d like to see sci-fi grow, but the thing is there’s only so many new things you can try before you start to think that you’ve seen it all considering all the films we’ve seen in the past. I’d like to see more from the martial arts genre but I doubt that’ll ever blow up again like it did in the past and the video game genre has potential, but until you have talented/creative individuals taking on these projects then it’ll still be in the awkward place that it’s in right now (though Warcraft wasn’t bad and Assassin’s Creed could change things).

    • I think it has to be video games. If you open that box and do it properly, there are so many different avenues and great potential titles to adapt. Its definitely as diverse as the comic book movies with a growing interest all the time.

  3. I am soooo hoping the superheroes thingy soon be over.
    I am so tired of seeing it in cinema like no other movies are worth to watch.

    I wish movies like The Matrix, Inception or other smart movies are produced more.

    • I think those films exist but audiences drive the product. While people still go to see superhero movies then studios will continue to make them. The issue is that movies that are a little bit different or not based on a known entity just don’t pull in the audiences.

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