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James Gunn Echoes Jodie Foster: ‘Most Studio Franchise Films Are Somewhat Soulless’

But “Guardians of the Galaxy” director believes there are still blockbusters with heart

Actress and recent “Black Mirror” director Jodie Foster rankled some comic book movie fans when she compared superhero movies and other modern blockbusters to fracking in a Radio Times interview and said they are “ruining the viewing habits of the American population and then ultimately the rest of the world.” This came to the attention of “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn, who responded on Twitter by saying she’s… kind of right.

“I think Foster looks at film in an old-fashioned way where spectacle film can’t be thought-provoking,” Gunn wrote in a string of recent tweets. “It’s often true but not always. Her belief system is pretty common and isn’t totally without basis. I say not without basis because most studio franchise films are somewhat soulless – and that is a real danger to the future of movies. But there are also quite a few exceptions.”

Certainly Gunn would like his “Guardians” movies to be included among those exceptions. Along with its fun space battles and playful use of ’70s and ’80s music, critics have praised his two entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for their emotional depth, showing how the five (now six) Guardians of the Galaxy were able to overcome their own personal tragedies and transform from a group of mercenaries brought together by chance into a true family. Though he didn’t bring up his own work, Gunn says that he strives to help push major blockbusters in a direction where they have something thoughtful to say.

“For cinema to survive I believe spectacle films NEED to have a vision and heart they traditionally haven’t. And some of us are doing our best to move in that direction. Creating spectacle films that are innovative, humane, and thoughtful is what excites me about this job.”

Check out Gunn’s full remarks in the tweets below.