Kevin Smith is one of the most famous comic book nerds around. Not only does he host the popular Fatman on Batman podcast, but the Clerks director has penned numerous titles for Marvel and DC over the years – for characters such as Batman, Daredevil and Green Arrow – and helmed a bunch of episodes of The Flash and Supergirl. It’s surprising, then, that Smith doesn’t have any interest in directing a big budget superhero movie.
The filmmaker talked to MTV on the subject and revealed that he doesn’t think he has the right stuff to commit to such a major production. He spoke favorably about Marvel Studios stalwarts Anthony and Joe Russo though, citing them as the kind of dedicated directors who are able to hold such huge tentpole movies together.
“So people always ask me, ‘Don’t you want to make a comic book movie?’ and I’m like, ‘Nah, I’m not talented enough to do that.’ Russo brothers, they can do that in their sleep — they know what to do and stuff. I’m not. I’m the guy that likes to watch that stuff, but I don’t have the patience or the ability to sit through one of those things making it, and I don’t know it would turn out very well if I did.”
Smith then went on to speak about how his thoughts on this often confuse people because he loves comic books so much. However, he explained that he believes you sometimes need someone outside of the Marvel or DC loop to bring their own interpretations to these beloved characters. Two examples Smith mentions are Batman‘s Tim Burton and X-Men‘s Bryan Singer, both of whom produced successful superhero films without being big comic book readers.
“A lot of people are like, ‘You love this comic book stuff!’ Just ‘cause you love something doesn’t mean that you’re gonna be great at it. Sometimes, particularly in the field of comic book movies, it’s been interesting to watch people who are not from the genre, who don’t touch the material, suddenly interpret it.”
“We saw that with Tim Burton, one of the greatest comic book movies of all time. 1989 Batman, Tim Burton very famously talks about like, ‘I don’t read comic books.’ Bryan Singer when he made the X-Men, he was not a comic book guy either. So there’s something to be said for like grabbing people from outside the medium who have a passing familiarity with it, not somebody who has so much invested in the game where I’m like, ‘Well, Thanos would never do that.’ And they’re like, ‘Well, maybe not on the page, but we’re making a movie here.’ I’m like, ‘Well, f—k that.’ So I like watching them, but making them is not for me.”
With all of that said, Smith is happy making his own mini-superhero movies on the small screen, thanks to his work with exec producer Greg Berlanti on the Arrowverse shows for The CW. Apart from operating on much shorter schedules, a single episode of a bigger series doesn’t come under the same scrutiny as a Marvel or DC film.
“Closest I get is when I jump into Berlanti land. That’s fun ‘cause it’s nine days in and out. And also, when you make one of them big comic book movies, you have a chance to disappoint so many f—ing people, so many people. And I disappoint people on a regular basis with my own sh-t. So to take something everybody knows and suddenly disappoint them with that, who needs it? If I do a Flash or Supergirl [episode], if it sucks, just wait a week, another one’s coming and I’m sure it’ll be great.”
Though he won’t be signing up for a comic book movie anytime soon, fans of Kevin Smith can rest assured that he’s not going to stop producing superhero content, as he’s already set to return to the Arrowverse next season as he’s directing the fourth episode of Supergirl season 4. Expect that to hit screens this November.