Superhero films have existed since the 1920s (if you count Zorro) and have always been a part of our public lexicon. However, recently, superhero films have had an exponential uptick in production, thanks to CGI and film budgets finally being able to accurately keep up with our imagination. Currently, the superhero film is the mainstream blockbuster. Ever since Iron Man hit theaters way back in 2008, the amount of modern-day superhero films has continued to grow. Sure, there were superhero films before that, from Superman in 1978 and Batman in 1989, as well as Blade in the late 90s to X-Men in the early 2000s, and Sam Rami’s Spider-Man trilogy. But now, superhero films are the dominant form of pop culture entertainment. This year alone, there are 7 superhero movies hitting theaters. It’s a good time to be a geek! Many of our favorite characters growing up are now getting their due on the big screen.
As we are now knee-deep in the age of the superhero film, these projects also have the potential to oversaturate the market. There’s always talk of “superhero fatigue” and some even predicting that superhero films will go the way of the Western by showing the same thing over and over again. After all, there are only so many ways heroes can face off against a villain to stop a “sky beam” before things get stale.
Luckily for us, the superhero genre has ways of reinventing itself by introducing new sub-genres in these films. Captain America: The Winter Soldier gave us a political thriller wrapped in a superhero movie. Ant-Man gave us a heist film disguised as a superhero movie. Doctor Strange gave us a film of sorcery. Guardians of the Galaxy gave us a space-opera. Man of Steel gave us a darker edge of heroics and the calamity that they can cause (which Captain America: Civil War also did). Of course, Logan knocked it out of the park by giving us a superhero Western. The Batman is promising to be a noir film while The New Mutants and Sony’s Venom are expected to be full-on horror films.
So, there are obviously a lot of places that the superhero genre can continue to evolve and grow upon. Here are a few sub-genres that could exist in future superhero films. Click Next to take a look….