“…these shows are playing to the same audience that made Avengers: Endgame the highest-grossing movie of all time. They’re certainly reaching the audience that pushed reactive anti-blockbuster Joker past the R-rated billion-dollar boundary. People who feel inundated by super-nonsense—the ones getting a little sick of unpacking the alternate realities created by time travel and debating whether, canonically, Ant-Man could destroy Thanos by crawling inside his anus—are looking for an outlet.“
The day before we met, László Nemes went to see a superhero movie. He didn’t last long. “I found it unwatchable and false, boring and self-referential, a world of ideal people who don’t behave as humans but more like machines.”
He smiles. It’s tea-time in the Islington, north London branch of Caffè Nero and Nemes gently explains that such films infantilise viewers in two ways. The plots let them defer responsibility for the fate of the world to demigods; the way they are shot – lots of signposting, everything carefully controlled – offers a false sense of omniscience.