Last week Steven Spielberg made some pretty inflammatory comments about superhero movies, going so far as to compare their fading influence to Westerns. Now Zack Snyder, who basically runs the onscreen DC Universe and is making any and every iteration of a Superman movie, has his own thoughts on the state of the genre.

Snyder told Yahoo!:

"He might not be wrong. I think it puts more pressure on us, the filmmakers, to not just crank out superhero movies for the sake of it. To me, the one thing I love working in the DC universe is that Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman are American mythology. It’s not about making a superhero, it’s a mythological universe that we live in. That I hope stands the test of time. They stood the test of time. That’s hopefully the sort of magic bullet. But who knows what audiences will want in the future."

It’s a maybe-too-nice response to an old guy who’s practically skewering his life’s work, but perhaps it’s necessary for Snyder to defend the lasting influence of the world he so treasures. After all, this is the first year since 2011 that a movie based on a comic book won’t be the highest grossing feature of the year.

Snyder directed 2013’s meh Man of Steel and is also helming the upcoming Batman v. Superman with Henry Cavill reprising his role as Superman and Ben Affleck joining in as the Caped Crusader. It’s slated for a March 2016 release.