Simon Pegg Says Sci-fi Obsession ‘Dumbs Down’ Film Industry, Then Retracts
LONDON – May 19, 2015 (UPI) — Self-proclaimed science-fiction super-fan, screenwriter and actor Simon Pegg sees a bigger issue with the genre’s success.
The British “Star Trek” star told Radio Times the film industry’s obsession with sci-fi, superheroes and spectacle takes away from the art of filmmaking.
“It is a kind of dumbing down in a way,” he said. “Because it’s taking our focus away from real-world issues. Films used to be about challenging, emotional journeys or moral questions that might make you walk away and re-evaluate how you felt about…whatever. Now we’re walking out of the cinema really not thinking about anything, other than the fact that the Hulk just had a fight with a robot.”
The “Nerd Do Well” author, 45, confessed that he was a huge fan of the sci-fi genre but sees society as something that has been “infantilized by our own taste.”
“We’re essentially consuming very childish things — comic books, superheroes…Adults are watching this stuff, and taking it seriously!”
He told the magazine that he sometimes misses “grown-up things,” like “amoral art movies” and intends to move forward into “some serious acting.”
“I honestly thought the other day that I’m gonna retire from geekdom,” he said. “I’ve become the poster child for that generation, and it’s not necessarily something I particularly want to be.”
In a blog post following the Radio Times interview, Pegg admitted to being a “Contrary Mary,” during some interviews.
“When you do lots of [interviews], you get sick of your own opinions and start espousing other people’s. Having said that, the idea of our prolonged youth is something I’ve been interested in for a very long time,” he wrote.
“I did not mean that science fiction or fantasy are dumb, far from it. How could I say that?” he continued. “I guess what I meant was, the more spectacle becomes the driving creative priority, the less thoughtful or challenging the films can become.”
Pegg wrote that although sci-fi and superhero films have been recreated with added layers of plot and complexity, market forces still simplify their image “so that toys and lunch boxes can be sold.”
At the end of his post, he said, “I am still a nerd and proud,” adding a postscript that Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan will also be Stormtroopers in his upcoming Star Wars flick, “The Force Awakens.”