Chris Hemsworth Nailed The Real Problem With “Superhero Movie Fatigue” Insults

Split image of Chris Hemsworth in the first Thor movie and Thor Ragnarok

Chris Hemsworth’s recent discussion about the superhero genre is spot on regarding the real issue with complaints surrounding the idea of superhero movie fatigue. With a 13-year on-screen history in the MCU, Hemsworth is perhaps one of the actors best primed to give insight regarding the superhero movie genre and the wide array of conversations surrounding it. The actor has also been open about the highs and lows of his career as the MCU’s Thor, most recently expressing regret for aspects of his performance in Thor: Love & Thunder in retrospect.

This balanced perspective is perhaps unsurprising, given Chris Hemsworth also has an acting history that reaches as far back as Guinevere Jones in 2002, when he would have been around 19, and has continued consistently since then. As such, Hemsworth brings over two decades of experience and cinematic understanding to the table, which may explain why the nuance of his comments regarding the MCU timeline and wider superhero genre appear to be very much on point.

Chris Hemsworth’s Superhero Movie Comments Explained

The MCU Actor Discusses His Perspective On The Genre

Split image of Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder

Chris Hemsworth’s May 2024 interview with The Times saw him come to the defense of the superhero genre following criticisms about it and, more specifically, Marvel’s more intensive release schedule and format. Famous directors Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola were some of the genre’s most outspoken detractors, with Coppola notably stating in a 2022 GQ interview that “There used to be studio films… Now there are Marvel pictures. And what is a Marvel picture? A Marvel picture is one prototype movie that is made over and over and over and over and over again to look different.

This concept is one tied inherently to the idea of superhero movie fatigue, via the idea that the genre’s releases are so similar that they could actively drive audiences to apathy by way of repetition. Hemsworth, however, suggested a different reasoning for Marvel having some lesser reactions with releases in recent years, and for the overall changing landscape of cinema, expressing that “cinema-going did not change because of superheroes, but because of smartphones and social media. Superhero films actually kept people in the cinemas during that transition and now people are coming back. So they deserve a little more appreciation.

How Social Media Has Changed Superhero Movies For The Better & The Worse

The Modern Age Has Changed The Way Superhero Movies Work Seemingly Forever

Wolverine and Deadpool in comic-accurate MCU costumes in Deadpool & Wolverine's official trailer

The way in which the modern era encourages the use of social media has changed the face of media, and its effect on superhero movies is a prime example of that in both positive and negative ways. On the brighter side of things, the influx of social media use and connection means that it’s easier than ever for people to discuss new revelations in shows and movies that excite them, and encourage others to enjoy projects they’ve connected with.

This can be best seen recently with X-Men ’97, as the social media hype surrounding the show and its nuanced approach to following in the footsteps of the original steadily saw more and more approval surface online. Not only did this ensure the series engaged with viewers who otherwise might have been unsure about it, it also made sure that those who wouldn’t be familiar with the original series enough to get certain references or callbacks were able to see how clever certain moments were via online posts about specific details, all lending to a more engaged and appreciative audience.

For superhero movies, this is also what makes prospects like Deadpool & Wolverine all the more promising, as the naturally high level of online discussion about the upcoming MCU release ensures trailers and teasers can hint at plot points with the confidence that they will be discussed en masse through social media. In this way, certain angles can be amped up for even more excitement without having to explicitly state anything, or even directly allude to it.

However, this isn’t to say modern approaches to social media have been universally a flawless development for the superhero genre. The nature of online engagement can be seen to have further encouraged less scrupulous approaches when it comes to new revelations about plot or character details, forcing studios to take more drastic measures to protect their secrets, and meaning some otherwise surprising revelations became public knowledge before they could take place on screen.

For example, Harry Style’s appearance at the end of Eternals playing none other than Thanos’ sibling Starfox would have generated significantly more of a response if this information hadn’t been revealed in the news prior to the movie’s release. Audiences being able to discover more about plots, characters, and castings in a manner that doesn’t let the franchise itself control the way this information is released as much means that there’s less room for the movies themselves to be impactful, sabotaging scenes that could’ve otherwise encouraged new moviegoers if things had unfolded differently.

MCU’s Newest Show Numbers Prove Chris Hemsworth Is Right About The Superhero Genre

Echo Strongly Supports Hemsworth’s Superhero Audience Comments

An SR custom image of two shots of Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez, aka Echo

Hemsworth’s comments about the superhero genre also notably included a discussion of its considerable audience, as he mentioned, “when they talked about what was wrong with superheroes, I thought, cool, tell that to the billions who watch them. Were they all wrong?” The actor’s thoughts are supported by the recent revelation that the Disney+ show Echo is the second most watched show on the streaming platform in 2024 according to a Variety report, establishing that the audience for the franchise is alive and well despite recent concerns.

This is especially interesting as it does suggest there is perhaps more success in some corners that are less public knowledge, as Echo often hasn’t been held in the same high esteem releases like Loki have been, due in part to its more pared-down and grounded approach to the MCU. As such, there is the distinct implication that a part of this success is that the decision to experiment and make Echo the MCU’s first TV-MA rated series has been rewarded.

Not only does this further support the arguments Chris Hemsworth puts forward and the idea that the franchise isn’t simply repeating itself in essentially different fonts, it also paints a more hopeful picture for the future of the superhero genre, by showing the ways in which experimentation can be rewarded. With the MCU’s course correction suggesting it will lean into this in the years to come, and the DCU setting up for something entirely fresh, a promising future is on the horizon, should the genre be able to capitalize on it.

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