Paul Dano Says ‘The Batman’ Was ‘A Real Film’ But Hopes ‘Something Else Blossoms Which Is Not Superheroes’

“Content came into what we do” as actors, Dano says, which “meant quantity over quality”

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Paul Dano is a creative actor who frequently chooses unique roles, seeking ones unlike others he’s done. In an interview published by The Independent on Saturday, he spoke openly about the sense of fatigue around superhero movies and expressed his hope that “somebody either breathes new life into [comic book movies], or something else blossoms which is not superheroes.”

“I’m sure there will still be some good ones yet to come, but I think it’s kind of a welcome moment,” the self-described comic fan continued. “It’s a larger thing, too. As soon as the word ‘content’ came into what we do – meaning making movies or TV – it meant quantity over quality, which I think was a big misstep. And I certainly don’t need that as a viewer or as an artist.”

Taking on a role in 2022’s “The Batman” was an opportunity Dano was excited about. The movie was a type of production that he hadn’t spent much time being part of, he said, “But I was able to really enjoy it. It wasn’t too much for me. I liked the fan fervor around it. I became a total Batman dork.” That included going on to write a Riddler comic series exploring the film’s version of the character he portrayed.

Dano’s newest movie “Spaceman” is a Netflix production that also stars Adam Sandler and Carey Mulligan. Sandler plays an astronaut who ends up communicating with a CGI spider (that he might be imagining). Dano is the spider in question.

While he chose some of his other roles based on what he wanted to explore in his own life, Dano said that he chose “Spaceman” because of who was in it. “When I heard that it was Adam Sandler on a spaceship talking to a giant spider, I was like… OK,” he said. “It sounded crazy enough to be something.”

“Spaceman” began streaming on Netflix on Feb. 23.

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