‘Aquaman’ And ‘Spider-Man’ Star Willem Dafoe Says Superhero Movies Are ‘Too Long’ And ‘Too Noisy’

Willem Dafoe attends SAG-AFTRA Foundation's 4th Annual Patron Of The Artists Awards
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

It might seem like an odd statement from a man who has starred in two of the biggest superhero movies of all time, but Willem Dafoe has admitted that the film genre is “too noisy” and “too long.” The Lighthouse actor talked about superhero movies after a screening on his newest film in New York City recently, according to CinemaBlend, and some of his comments came as quite a shock given his resume.

Superhero movies have been slammed by some in the industry for years, but Martin Scorsese’s recent comments about films like Avengers: Endgame and Batman v. Superman have broadened the discussion. Dafoe did say that making superhero movies is “fun” and commented that he’s made a couple of them, but later said that the industry now “outgrew itself.” The actor cited his time making Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002) when superhero movies really weren’t much of a thing. Dafoe called Spider-Man an “independent movie” and noted technology back then was nothing like it was today.

The Boondock Saints actor recently starred in Aquaman alongside Jason Momoa, which made over $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office, making it the most successful DCEU film to date. However, the movie Dafoe signed up for wasn’t the one that was made, he admitted. According to the actor, he was pitched to play the “old master” but then claimed the movie didn’t turn out how it was originally supposed to.

Dafoe also joked that he didn’t want to slam movies that he has starred and put food on his table.

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“You have fun with some of the things that you get to do, because there’s lots of hardware and there’s lots of crazy crane shots and those kind of things. That’s fun. But stuff is overshot. They spend a lot of money on big set pieces, because that’s what delivers the action, and I find them too long and too noisy. But let’s not get into this [laughs]. I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me. But, no, seriously, folks. Look, those aren’t the movies I run to.”

It doesn’t look like Dafoe is going to be appearing in any superhero movies going forward, and he currently isn’t listed on the cast for Aquaman 2. While he did play a crucial supporting role in the James Wan flick, his character isn’t necessary to the story of Arthur Curry progressing.

Dafoe is currently starring in The Lighthouse and Motherless Brooklyn, both showing in select theaters.