People can get tired of a character but not the genre: Marvel’s Stephen Wacker on superhero fatigue


The appeal of superhero films lies not in the special effects but the relatable underdog stories, which makes the genre a fan favourite, believes Stephen Wacker, VP – Creative Development, Marvel.

Superhero films are the biggest money-spinning machines in the industry but some critics say there is bound to be a fatigue of the genre.

Wacker, however, said viewers will always resonate with the films on these iconic characters as it is “the person behind the mask” who they care about.

“I read a lot of Marvel stuff, so I feel there can be superhero fatigue someday. Sometimes we get lost in the cosmetic special effects of the superhero work, which is an exciting part but at the core, these are stories about ordinary people, who are put in extraordinary positions and have to take a stand. That’s no different than any novel regardless of genre.

“The question superheroes bring to the people is ‘Will I rise to the occasion? or Will I be able to do this?’. I am a big believer that there is a hero in everybody, they just need circumstances to be out there. Superhero films make us believe in that hero inside us,” he told PTI in an interview.

Wacker said sometimes people get tired of a particular character but it does not affect the genre.

“People can get tired of Ironman after a while and I understand that. But that’s not the same thing as getting tired of superhero stories. I think what people get tired of is bad television and bad movies or bad comics. If we continue to do our job well and if the stories are exciting, it will go on forever.”

The reason Marvel films are doing so well, Wacker said, is the connection the characters build with the audiences.

“People are not coming for Spider-Man, they are coming for Peter Parker, they are coming for Tony Stark or Kamala Khan. And when we do our job right, whether it is Marvel TV or movies or other mediums, it is the story of that person which is driving the narrative.

“When it becomes just about action or superhero stuff, it doesn’t look interesting to our fans. Superhero fights are everywhere now, but what makes it exciting for Marvel fans is the human connection. It is what we need to do to make it feel authentic.”

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