Actor Ethan Hawke recently invoked the ire of legions of comic book movie fans when he said that Logan was not a great movie, intimating that it couldn’t be one because it was a superhero movie. For some, this seemed like the kind of elitist take you occasionally see from critics and artists who look down on blockbusters and superhero fare as somehow less-than. Now, Ethan Hawke has clarified his comments about Logan and superhero movies, explaining that he wasn’t trying to bash them, he was simply trying to talk about the business side of Hollywood. As he explained in a recent interview:
What Ethan Hawke seems to be saying in his interview with Collider is that he is concerned about how these movies, the comic book and superhero movies, are the ones that make the most money now. Because of that, they are also the movies that are getting made the most. Hawke wants a variety of films out there and the almighty dollar is dictating that superhero films get the chance while other, perhaps deserving stories may not. The film business is a business but it is also a business that sells art and Ethan Hawke seems to want the art to have more weight in that equation.
Ethan Hawke also spoke to the fact that he remembers the time when comic books and comic book readers were looked down upon. That time has passed, however, and comic book properties and fandoms are no longer the scrappy underdogs they once were. So, there is perhaps a fear among fans that any sort of criticism of the genre, its effects, or calls for more of other kinds of movies could cause that stigmatization to return. Ethan Hawke doesn’t want that any more than the rest of us do, but that is perhaps part of the backlash to his comments.
Ethan Hawke also confesses that he himself is a huge comic book geek (he was almost Doctor Strange) and that he loves and sees all of the comic book movies. We know he does appreciate some tentpole movies, considering how he recently said he wanted to be in a Star Wars film. Star Wars isn’t superheroes, but it is in that same family of geeky things that now drive the film business. Thus, it may have been a bit hypocritical if he had some major issue with Logan and the like and not Star Wars.
The reality seems to be that he loves these kinds of properties and just wishes there was room in the space to get funding and distribution for smaller or mid-budget movies that aren’t Star Wars and superheroes. This makes total sense, considering that his initial comments about Logan were made within the context of why film festivals are important. He was speaking about how they give smaller films a chance to get seen and increase awareness so that those films don’t get crushed under all the big budget stuff, including superhero films.
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