Spider-Verse writers explain why “superhero fatigue” doesn’t exist

Cameron Frew
Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Superhero fatigue isn’t a real problem, according to Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the writers behind Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – this is why.

If you look at the highest-grossing movies of all time, four of them are comic book movies: the first Avengers movie, Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Since its inception with Iron Man in 2008, the MCU has grossed nearly $29.5 billion.

However, despite consistent millions at the box office, the tide is definitely turning: Ant-Man 3 and Black Panther 2 vastly underperformed, and critical and fan reception was middling throughout Phase Four. Are they bad movies, or are we all getting fed up with the superhero schtick, especially after a culture-defining, era-resolving movie like Endgame?

Well, from the perspective of Lord and Miller, the superheroes aren’t causing the fatigue: the movies are.

Spider-Verse writers confront superhero fatigue

Coming after the success of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a dazzling, revitalizing testament to the genre – you can check out our review here.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the writers were asked how they’ve managed to evade superhero fatigue, but Miller said that’s not the real issue. “I believe it’s ‘a movie that feels like a movie I’ve seen a dozen times before’ fatigue,” he said.

“If you’re using the same story structure and the same style and the same tone and the same vibe as movies and shows that have come before, it doesn’t matter what genre it is. It’s going to be boring to people.”

Lord continued: “And the audience in the theater cannot be sustained on Easter eggs and reveals. Or even these big, crazy multiverse stakes. They only care about, like, the relationship between Rocket Raccoon and Groot. And so this story is just so rooted in parents and kids. And Miles and his family.

“With the last movie we showed it to some friends early on, and they were like, ‘You have to get to like all these multiple Spider-People as quickly as possible. That’s the exciting thing.’ And we were like, we don’t think so. Because the thing that everybody seems to enjoy is the quieter scenes with Miles and his mom and dad. They can’t get enough of it. And I’m so glad we stayed true to what the audience was telling us.”

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is in cinemas now. You can check out our other Spidey content here, our ranking of the Spider-Man movies here, and our other coverage of the new sequel below:

About The Author

Cameron is Deputy TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He's an action movie aficionado, '80s obsessive, and Oscars enthusiast. He loves Invincible, but he's also a fan of The Boys, the MCU, The Chosen, and much more. You can contact him at cameron.frew@dexerto.com.