All of the reports out there about this recent Adam Devine quote are making sure to specify that he said “Marvel killed comedies.” And while that is literally what he said, it’s not what he holistically meant.
In general, Marvel has become a catch-all-turn for both the comic book movie genre and the connected-universe franchise model that much of Hollywood has replicated. So, while he said “Marvel”, what he meant was “the superhero movie business.”
Once you wrap your head around that, you realize that Devine’s point is totally salient: the outsized nature of the last decade of blockbuster filmmaking has trained audiences to view them as the sole purpose of a theatrical experience.
If movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. and Barbie are the ones meant to be seen on the biggest screen possible, why does that need to be the case for mid-budget comedies, too? Not saying that it’s correct — it’s just the truth. Look at how big of a deal the industry made after the R-rated Jennifer Lawrence film (which was armed with a full birthday suit scene, by the way) performed moderately well at the box office, grossing $85 million worldwide on a $45 million budget.
“There’s still good [comedy] shows, but movie comedy…it’s hard. My theory: I think Marvel ruined it. I feel like superhero movies ruined comedies because you go to the theater and you expect to watch something that cost $200 million to make, and comedy movies aren’t that,” Devine said on a recent episode of Theo Von’s podcast
“So you’re like, ‘Why would I spend the same amount of money to go watch a little comedy in the theater if I can spend that and watch something that is worth $200 million?’ And they still make those movies kind of funny, like, ‘Oh my god, is that raccoon talking? This is hilarious!’ Which it is, but it’s not a real comedy.”
After Devine’s comments got aggregated into news reports, the 39-year-old former Workaholics star took to Twitter to set the record straight.
As a guy who loves movies and tv it’s cool to be in Variety but this is misleading. I like Marvel and think these movies are cool. I was saying that studios (in trying to compete with Marvel) have stopped making mid budget comedies. I miss seeing comedy in the theaters! https://t.co/a1S4GxO5W0
— ADAMDEVINE (@ADAMDEVINE) August 8, 2023
Devine can most recently be seen starring in the hit HBO comedy The Righteous Gemstones, which is currently in the midst of its third season and can be found streaming on Max. He also recetly starred in the Netflix film The Out-Laws alongside Pierce Brosnan, Nina Drobrev and Ellen Barkin.