‘Birdman’ director Alejandro González Iñárritu calls superhero films ‘cultural genocide’

'21 Grams' filmmaker attacks 'misleading conception' of 'right wing' hero movies

Alejandro González Iñárritu has condemned superhero films as “cultural genocide”.

The director of film such as 21 Grams, and the forthcoming black comedy Birdman starring Michael Keaton, attacked the genre, calling it “right wing”.

Speaking in an interview with Deadline after his latest film Birdman closed the New York Film Festival, Inarritu confessed that he sometimes enjoyed superhero movies because they “go well with popcorn” but the director of Amores Perros pulled no punches.


“The problem is that sometimes they purport to be profound, based on some Greek mythological kind of thing. And they are honestly very right wing,” challenged Iñárritu. “I always see them as killing people because they do not believe in what you believe, or they are not being who you want them to be. I hate that, and don’t respond to those characters. They have been poison, this cultural genocide, because the audience is so overexposed to plot and explosions and shit that doesn’t mean nothing about the experience of being human.”

He added: “Superheroes…just the word hero bothers me. What the fuck does that mean? It’s a false, misleading conception, the superhero. Then, the way they apply violence to it, it’s absolutely right wing. If you observe the mentality of most of those films, it’s really about people who are rich, who have power, who will do the good, who will kill the bad. Philosophically, I just don’t like them.”

Iñárritu’s meta-comedy Birdman riffs on former Batman actor Keaton’s hero movie past and is released in the US October 17. The film is due to reach UK cinemas on January 2, 2015.

Appearing to be shot in one continuous take the synopsis for Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) has revealed the film is “a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Keaton) – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play”. 

Watch the trailer below.