Don’t expect William Friedkin to helm any superhero films.

The legendary director thinks superhero movies are degrading Hollywood, part of a cultural trend dating back to his biggest professional disappointment.

Friedkin is responsible for two of the most celebrated films of the 1970s – “The Exorcist” and “The French Connection.” He told the AFP this week the industry’s obsession with costumed crusaders should be beneath a once proud medium.

“Films used to be rooted in gravity. They were about real people doing real things. Today cinema in America is all about Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Avengers, Hunger Games: all kinds of stuff that I have no interest in seeing at all.”

Films used to be rooted in gravity

Friedkin laments the reception his 1977 film “Sorcerer” received upon its release. That was the year a young director named George Lucas unleashed “Star Wars” on the culture. The shock waves from that film are still being felt today. He considers Lucas’s film a cinematic turning point, and not in a good way. Studios started chasing the broadest audience possible, he says, a shift that shows little sign of abating.

He stands by “Sorcerer” all the same, even if many movie goers consider “The Exorcist” his crowning achievement.


Friedkin isn’t the only star to recently smite superhero films. Actor Simon Pegg, no stranger to fantasy fare given his work on the “Star Trek” franchise and “Shaun of the Dead,” recently shared the director’s unease with the genre.

Superhero features are part of the “dumbing down” of popular culture, Pegg says.


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