French filmmaker Luc Besson criticized Hollywood films like Marvel’s Captain America, calling them “propaganda” that too often “show the supremacy of America.”
In an interview with Brazilian journalist Renato Marafon, Besson said he’s “totally tired” of the superhero film genre.
“I mean, it was great 10 years ago when we saw the first Spider-Man, Iron Man. Now it’s like, number five, six, seven,” Besson explained. “The superhero is working with another superhero, but it’s not the same family. I’m lost.”
“What bothers me most, is that it’s always here to show the supremacy of America, and how they are great,” the Fifth Element director continued. “I mean, which country in the world would have the guts to call a film, ‘Captain Brazil,’ or ‘Captain France?’ I mean, no one. We would be so ashamed and say, ‘No, no, c’mon, we can’t do that.’ They can. They can call it ‘Captain America’ and everybody thinks it’s normal.”
“I’m not here for propaganda, I’m here to tell a story,” Besson said of his latest film, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. “And Valerian is another proposal, different, where, you really travel.”
“You meet aliens, a lot. And there are real themes,” Besson says of his film, which has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 50 and massively underperformed at the box office, earning $90 million a month after its release. The film was made on a reported $180 million budget.
“I mean, Valerian and Laureline are not superheroes, they’re not even heroes,” Besson adds. “They’re people like you and me. They’re cops, they do their job. But sometimes, they can be heroic. That’s what I love, because I can relate to that. I can’t relate to a superhero, I don’t have superpowers.”
Valerian opened in theaters July 21, and stars Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, and Ethan Hawke.
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson