Jordan Peele is the latest director to weigh in on the seemingly endless superhero-movies-as-cinema debate. And his answers fall along the lines of what you might expect from a creator who made his name in the traditionally maligned horror genre.
During a discussion at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City on Wednesday, Peele was asked about the debate started by Martin Scorsese's criticism of Marvel. Peele said he's not on board with gate-keeping cinema. He added that what makes a movie worthwhile to him is its ability to make an audience feel, particularly in the shared space of a theater.
"I’m not particularly engaged in the ‘What is cinema, what isn’t cinema?’ conversation,” Peele said, per the Hollywood Reporter. “My definition of film and what my movie experience is, is movies that you can go and have a theatrical experience, a shared experience with the audience [and] go through emotions: cheers, tears, laughs.”
Because his definition hangs on the idea of a movie-going experience, Peele said he's actively trying to make movies that will compel people to watch them in the theater.
"Those are the movies I’m trying to make, quite frankly. I’m very focused on something that you need to go out to the theater to see while it’s out there because it’s something different," he said.
The lone knock on the superhero movie culture he floated was a desire to "see more original material in the theater," something he blamed on a lack of infrastructure. Peele lamented a lack of theaters and the difficulty of finding movies that aren't big studio blockbusters in an ultra-consolidated movie industry.
“So many of those properties — it’s a childhood dream to be able to essentially see what you saw in your imagination as a child, watching or reading or whatever you were doing with that stuff,” he said. “It’s a filmmaker’s dream. But you know, I feel like I only have so much time. I have a lot of stories to tell, and it just doesn’t feel right.” Unfortunately, that means Peele won't direct Marvel's Blade reboot as so many of us had hoped.