Justice League didn't just give the DC Extended Universe its own Avengers-style superhero team up, it also introduced three new heroes and their origins to movie audiences leading some to declare that the superhero origin story is dead. However, if you ask James Gunn, it's a declaration that's "completely illogical."
Last week, The Hollywood Reporter ran a piece speculating that, while Justice League is fraught with problems, it's just more evidence that fans aren't interested in the backstories of heroes -- the heroes just need to show up in ensembles -- and cites the introductions of Black Panther and Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War as proof. Gunn, himself the director of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's cosmic ensemble films Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, finds the concept a little ridiculous and he took to Facebook to explain why.
"I am trying to figure out how the Hollywood Reporter comes up with these headlines," Gunn wrote. "Just this year, Wonder Woman made over 820 million dollars at the box office. Last year, Deadpool made over 780 million, and Doctor Strange made over 675 million. So how in the world can you possibly maintain or even wonder if the returns of ONE movie -- Justice League -- means that the superhero origin story is dead? It's completely illogical."
To be fair, the THR piece does acknowledge that Wonder Woman fit a very specific niche of origin stories (that of "quality female superhero origin story,") but in citing Spider-Man and Black Panther as examples of characters who have had their first appearances as part of larger stories, the piece seems to miss the success of other characters who have had no previous appearances. Specifically, Deadpool's $780 million may be about $100 million short of Spider-Man: Homecoming's take, but Spider-Man is one of the all-time most popular characters in comics among fans of all ages -- a factor that makes Deadpool's take with the character's more adult themes and appeal even more impressive.
And for a genre the piece alleges is being killed off by Justice League, both the DCEU and the MCU have superhero origin movie planned. DC’s Shazam! and Marvel’s Captain Marvel are both expected to hit theaters in 2019.
As for Gunn's puzzling of why the headline didn't make sense to him, the director acknowledged what he suspected the real logic behind it and the notion was.
"Yes, I know, you're all going to say that the answer is "clicks," Gunn wrote. "But I wish there was some reason other than that."