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Steven Spielberg says superhero movies will die like Westerns

Technically Incorrect: The great director and producer foresees a time when we're just tired of Superman and Batman.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Steven Spielberg predicts a Batman-less world.

ScreenSlam/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It is a sign, perhaps, of our essential puniness that we are currently so in love with superhero movies.

This will, of course, change when we elect President Trump.

In the meantime, however, we pray to have our galaxy guarded and our Gotham saved. Sometimes it even takes four fantastic superheroes or even a whole horde of watchmen, because one just won't do.

Steven Spielberg believes this is just a phase we're going through. In an interview he gave to the Associated Press to coincide with the release of his latest movie "Bridge Of Spies," Spielberg spoke of his previously stated view that mega-budget movies would one day breathe their last.

He said: "I still feel that way. We were around when the Western died and there will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the Western."

I confess I can't even remember the last time I saw a Western. Was it "Unforgiven"? That was 1992. It's hard to imagine, though, that the same might happen to Batman, X-Men and the rest.

Spielberg, though, sees it like this: "These cycles have a finite time in popular culture. There will come a day when the mythological stories are supplanted by some other genre that possibly some young filmmaker is just thinking about discovering for all of us."

Will it be a filmmaker who discovers it? After all, these superheroes weren't the invention of filmmakers. They came from comic artists and writers. They represent an embrace, a love that not only goes back generations, but has been handed down through generations.

What might this next genre be? Where might it come from? YouTube how-to videos?

Spielberg made clear that there might be a time when Westerns return. Similarly, superhero movies might die off and then make a spectacular comeback.

I fancy, though, that we're going to need superheroes for a lot longer.

We've become ever more talented at making a mess of things. Superheroes make us believe there's still a way out of the mire far better than John Wayne ever did.