For American audiences, Vincent Cassel is that French actor who plays bad guys a lot. Whether it’s the sly thief in the Ocean’s movies, Matt Damon’s nemesis in Jason Bourne or his current turn on the third season of Westworld, Cassel knows how to portray menacing figures. Sounds like he could be a great candidate to appear in a future superhero movie, then. Or maybe not.
While chatting with Inverse, Cassel spoke about his lack of interest in the genre as well as whether he would ever take a part in a comic book film if offered one, saying:
“Honestly, these are not movies I watch anymore,” Cassel said. “When they came up with the technology and the fact that suddenly Iron Man or Spider-Man could look real and not tacky in the special effects, I was interested. Then, it became normal. I was a big fan of the comics at the time when I was a kid. Nowadays, I think these are movies for kids, really. And even though I still have a part of me who’s a kid, I would say no. I wouldn’t watch it.”
He’s got an interesting point about the genre becoming normal. And it’s kind of true that for fans of a certain age, you eventually lose a sense of wonder when it comes to cinema. The superhero genre is the modern Western in terms of having the most fans for its time, but if you watch enough comic book movies, you might begin to see their flaws.
Of course, Cassel isn’t the first person to have a less than glowing opinion of the world Marvel and DC built. Last year, director Martin Scorsese made the rounds promoting The Irishman where he said that comic book movies were “theme park rides.” He also argued that they’re “not cinema.”
Cassel isn’t going that far in criticizing the genre, but he appears to be going down a sensible path of saying that they’re just not for him at the moment. Still, he did leave the door ajar at the possibility of playing – you guessed it – the bad guy.
“Maybe if you had a great villain and it’s done with by somebody who’s really intelligent and talented enough to give it a twist, so it doesn’t look like a movie for kids, then maybe I would do it,” Cassel said. “But otherwise, no. The few approaches that I had, I felt like it would have been a long time commitment for something that I wouldn’t even watch to the end.”
Fans of the genre need to take a deep breath here. Cassel is a man in his 50s who at this point, likes what he likes. Although, he perhaps needs to catch up on the evolution of the genre after the release of movies like Logan and Joker. He might just change his perspective slightly.
Yes, comic book movies are primarily for much younger demographics, but they still tackle important themes. And they attract legends in cinema like Robert Redford, Anthony Hopkins and William Hurt, among many others. If Marvel called tomorrow, Cassel would certainly be taking that call and if his performance in Westworld is any indication, he’d fit right in.