Hugh Jackman and Willem Dafoe Talk About The Evolution of Superhero Movies

Comic book movies have not always been the guaranteed success that they are now. They used to not be a thing at all, but thankfully they caught on (now if only we could get movies that aren’t from comics). Hugh Jackman and Willem Dafoe sat down for Variety’s Actors on Actors show to discuss their earliest workings in these movies. Jackman, of course, is famous for his role as Wolverine which started back in 2000 and Dafoe was the notorious Green Goblin in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man that premiered in 2002. Both actors talk about how they love doing these movies even though no one was sure if superhero movies were going to be a thing. Dafoe recalled, “When ‘Spider-Man’ was proposed to me originally it was like, ‘Really, you’re going to make a movie from a comic book? It was like I was slumming it, you know? I didn’t see it that way, but some people were like, ‘Really?'”

Jackman shared his thoughts about the early start of superhero films thusly:

Ten years ago I remember hearing people say, ‘I don’t think this will last much longer,’ and it’s just continued to grow. I don’t think anyone saw that coming. I think ‘X-Men’ did a lot, particularly when it opened up in a concentration camp and the idea that we were taking it seriously in terms of more humanistic rather than superhuman.

Dafoe also accredits part of the success to the universality of the themes of the film as well as the visually appealing sets. Meanwhile, Jackman credits the work Christopher Nolan did on the Dark Knight trilogy to help break out of one specific genre. Watch the clip below of you can watch the full video here. What do you think caused the success of these stories?