Jodie Foster: Superhero films are ‘like fracking,’ they ‘wreck the earth’

Harpers Bazaar Women of the Year Awards

Jodie Foster directed one of my favorite movies of all time, Home for the Holidays. I think Foster is a great director, and her strength is absolutely with human stories, family dramas and performance-driven realism. Foster is not out there, directing Marvel movies or DC Comic movies, although I think if she chose to do those kinds of movies, she would be good at it. But clearly, Jodie Foster is not interested. She told the Radio Times that she actually thinks superhero movies are ruining the film industry.

The superhero genre is dominating the box office, but one Oscar winner thinks they’re having a negative effect on movie audiences across the world. While speaking with Radio Times about directing an episode on the latest season of Black Mirror, Academy Award-winner Jodie Foster addressed the dominance of superhero movies and the studios who push them, likening the trend to “fracking.”

“Going to the movies has become like a theme park,” said Foster. “Studios making bad content in order to appeal to the masses and shareholders is like fracking — you get the best return right now but you wreck the earth. It’s ruining the viewing habits of the American population and then ultimately the rest of the world. I don’t want to make $200 million movies about superheroes.”

But that doesn’t mean Foster would ever turn a superhero project down herself, as she said she would consider making a film if it had “really complex psychology.”


I kind of agree with her…? I wouldn’t compare it to fracking, and I wouldn’t frame it as “wreck the earth” though – clearly, there’s still an appetite for smaller films and historical films and that kind of thing with filmgoers. La La Land, Get Out, Moonlight, those are some examples of smaller, “quirky” films which did well at the box office and proved that there is an appetite for something other than bloated superhero nonsense. Dunkirk had the “spectacle” of these enormous set pieces, but because it was historical and narrative-driven, it’s not painted with the same brush as Marvel films. So, while I agree with Foster that the business model of superhero films cannot and should not be maintained, I don’t believe that superhero films are completely destroying the industry – it’s more like the studios need to realize that filmgoers still have an appetite for other films too.

Jodie Foster attends a photocall of 'The Silence of The Lambs'

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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26 Responses to “Jodie Foster: Superhero films are ‘like fracking,’ they ‘wreck the earth’”

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  1. yiza says:

    I could not agree more. Every time a new superhero film is announced I’m like AH GAWD STAHP.

    • Milla says:

      Same. I really think we need more honesty and originality. This awful reality has to give us something in return. That’s what art is for

    • Lexie says:

      ME TOO.

      I’m SO OVER superhero movies. The last one I saw was Dr. Strange (which was AWFUL) because I needed something to distract me on Election Day. I’m mildly curious about Black Panther, and that’s the most intrigued I’ve been about a superhero movie since 2010.

  2. @BitingPanda says:

    I LOVE Home for the Holidays, I don’t understand why it doesn’t get heavy playing on cable during the Nov-Dec season. It belongs on the list of things I’ll watch every year.

    I’d give up a few bloated, CGI filled, blow it all to hell, movies for better told love stories, and comedies. I miss watching pretty people fall in love.

  3. LAK says:

    They *are* ruining the movie industry because studios are not financing other types of films. Every alternative movie you’ve mentioned had to find an alternative financing route and was considered risky by studios when they got round to buying the finished product. The fact they did well didn’t change the superhero studio model. Those films are considered outliers by the studios.

  4. Hh says:

    I love a good, mindless action flick—superhero or not. While I think some of their budgets are bloated, the massive profits of those films go on to help fund smaller projects. Movies are escapism and there are enough to appeal to large audiences. Indies, comedies, action, superhero, drama, horror and more.

    Also, these comments annoy me because There was a time when comic book kids felt isolated and geeky about the love of their favorite heroes. They’d never thought they’d see them on film and TV (at least without being in a campy manner). Now, they get to enjoy great versions of their favorite characters and probably share those experiences with their kids.

    This feels like when people rip on the Kardashians. I have so many issues with them, but even I can acknowledge they’re often easy targets. People like to lay all the problems of modern society at their feet.

    However, I will say that aside from my issue with budgets, the superhero genre (particularly Marvel’s method) has made everyone think that they can up and do a franchise or even that everything “needs” to be franchised. That’s very annoying.

    • Agree. Everything is cyclical and each new genre wave is often antithetical to the previous one. This is healthy. Lighthearted rom-coms, goofy buddy flicks, gritty crime dramas, creepy psychological thrillers, big budget disaster films, YA dystopian sagas, Edwardian costume dramas etc etc…they all have their day. I’m cool with it, especially since the big budget comic franchises give women and minorities opportunities to play against type.

  5. Fafo4 says:

    I’m sure it’s just a phase. It’ll slow down at some point.

  6. littlemissnaughty says:

    So TV doesn’t count? She directed an episode of BM and says this? Because the great stories are all on TV. There’s no shortage.

    Also, I’m not paying up to €15 plus at least 7 or 8€ for a damn water and a small popcorn when – from a visual standpoint – the movie doesn’t need a big screen. I can rent that “small” movie for €4,99 later and watch it in the comfort of my own home.

  7. Slowsnow says:

    I guess the wider problem is, as far as I see it, creating categories such as superhero films as opposed to spectacle films and “quirky small films”. What the hell does this even mean? Moonlight was a quirky film? I strongly object to this relation with films. Even the drama/comedy genres are problematic (see Netflix categories where you find the same film in several categories), or the “auteur” films opposed to the entertaining films.

  8. Nibbi says:

    I sort of agree. Superhero films are generally so damn *dumb.* I hope they don’t make people dumber. The ” pure good vs pure evil in tights” trope is so tired and simplistic.

  9. Penguen says:

    Home For the Holidays is one of my favorites. We watch it every year at Thanksgiving. Love it!

    “This is not my enormous coat.”

    Honestly though, I rarely go to the movies these days. So many of them are formulaic and are practically interchangeable. I miss variety.

  10. Norman Bates' Mother says:

    She’s not entirely wrong but I think she’s also being overly snobbish and dramatic with her wording. “Superhero movies” should not even be treated as a separate genre and painted with the same brush – Thor: Ragnarok is a great comedy, Logan is a great drama, Wonder Woman is a good female empowerment movie, Doctor Strange is a new age’y mess, Batman vs. Superman is a steaming pile of garbage – there’s something for everyone. By stopping to make films about superheroes, they would take away a great escapist pleasure from many people – I hope they will make less superhero movies in the future and will put quality over quantity, but there should be room for every type of movies.

  11. BorderMollie says:

    I’m so conflicted on this one. I love the good romp of a fun superhero movie, but they do suck up a lot of studio resources to produce. Also, many of them have subtle undertones of imperialism, with these ‘great beings of light and power’ literally swooping down to save the ‘savage’ masses, at least in some of them.

  12. Scarlett says:

    If this is how she feels then she’s lucky she has the money to fund her own projects if she wants to.

  13. Rocknrust says:

    No love for Little Man Tate? That is a wonderful movie. I watch it every time I see it when it’s on.

  14. Selena Castle says:

    Arty farty snob. I love a good superhero movie. But I am going to see two movies this weekend, “The Shape of Water” (Pan’s Labyrinth is one of my all time favourites so I have high hopes) and “Three Billboards…”. Cinemas were dying out prior to the Superhero movies because of streaming, downloads and great home cinema experiences. Why go to the cinema if you can see it in the comfort of your own home? Only if you feel that a movie needs to be seen on “the big screen”, and that is the superhero movies.

  15. Steph says:

    Ugh blah blah blah Jodie. In the last few years the movies I’ve gone to see at the cinema are Spectre, Captain America 3, Wonder Woman and Thor. I’ll be seeing Black Panther and Infinity War this year and probably nothing else. I like superhero movies. If studios funded romantic comedies and dramas and action movies I’d shrug and not go. Different strokes you know? It’s rude to state as fact that superhero movies are bad for the industry and bad for moviegoers.

    • Arwen says:

      And I wouldn’t go to the theatre to watch a “non-spectacle” movie.
      Movie tickets are expensive, I wish hollywood would get it through their thick spoiled skulls that not everyone can afford to go to the movies

  16. Anare says:

    Just saw Three Billboards tonight and it was fantastic. The actors were all superb. The writing, editing and cinematography were so well done. The twists in the storylines of the characters were fascinating. It was tragic and bitingly funny. Frances Mcdormand was incredible, her character tough but so tortured. One of those great performances where you love and hate that character. She leaves wreckage in her path, knows it and seems unable to stop it. All I could think of at the end was that quote “what ever begins in anger ends in sorrow”. Now THAT’S a movie!

  17. Izzy says:

    Whatever. *buys Wonder Woman to add to the collection*

  18. Arwen says:

    Is this the same Jodie Foster who keeps defending Mel Gibson 🤔😑

    Bye Felicia and don’t let the door hit your snobby ass on the way out

  19. Sara says:

    Me too! Hate them and now they are spilling over into TV! My husband is always starting a new series to do with superheros blah!

  20. Kim says:

    I am also very weary of insipid, badly written superhero movies. There’s barely ever an actual plot. The characters are usually one dimensional because there’s no time for character development between explosions and terrible fight scenes with about 86 different cuts. Dumb movies for dumb people.

    Although I will say..I found the character of Bane to be somewhat interesting. I wish they had made an entire movie just about him/his origins and left out all the other crap. I’m not sure if that’s because Bane was actually a well written character or if Tom Hardy really can turn sh*t into champagne just by showing up on set.

  21. Cilian says:

    Coming from the woman who made money monster