“They have blighted cinema, and also blighted culture to a degree.”
Watchmen creator, Alan Moore, is not a fan of the superhero-obsessed era of the film industry and pop culture at large. But, as he admits in a rare interview with Deadline, he is at least partially to blame for it.
Moore, who is responsible for some of the most revered comic book titles to see a film adaptation (including, but not limited to, V for Vendetta, Batman: The Killing Joke, and Swamp Thing,) railed against Marvel and DC’s takeover of cinema. “They have blighted cinema, and also blighted culture to a degree,” Moore told Deadline. “Several years ago I said I thought it was a really worrying sign, that hundreds of thousands of adults were queuing up to see characters that were created 50 years ago to entertain 12-year-old boys,” he adds.
To Moore, there’s a distinct correlation between the world’s bleak political affairs and its obsession with comic book characters created for the enjoyment of kids. “That seemed to speak to some kind of longing to escape from the complexities of the modern world, and go back to a nostalgic, remembered childhood. That seemed dangerous, it was infantilizing the population,” claims the writer.
In the interview, Moore goes on to note that he distanced himself from even some of his own submissions to the expansive cannons that have given rise to the dominance of superhero films, including The Killing Joke, which was cited as source material for Joker. “Three months after I’d written that I was disowning it, it was far too violent – it was Batman for christ’s sake, it’s a guy dressed as a bat,” Moore coldly stated.
He does, however, cop to his role in the rebranding of comics as adult-oriented entertainment. “It was largely my work that attracted an adult audience, it was the way that was commercialized by the comics industry,” Moore confesses.
Moore goes on to discuss his new project, The Show, which was initially slated for a SXSW premiere, but is now set to be screened at the Spanish film festival Sitges later this month.
Read the full chat with the Watchmen creator via Deadline.