Director Richard Linklater Criticizes Hollywood's "S-xless Superheroes"

Richard Linklater discusses Hollywood trends and his latest projects

by Zain ul Abedin
Director Richard Linklater Criticizes Hollywood's "S-xless Superheroes"
© Rick Kern/Getty Images

Director Richard Linklater, known for his acclaimed films such as the "Before" trilogy and "Boyhood," has expressed his frustration with Hollywood's trend of creating s-xless characters and superheroes devoid of genitalia.

Linklater, whose latest film "Hit Man" premiered at the Venice Film Festival, believes cinema should embrace the themes of s-x and violence more boldly. "S-x and violence are what cinema excels at," Linklater told The Times of London.

"S-x was always a big draw; I don't understand why Hollywood has shied away from it. They started feeding this new generation characters that were s-xless. Superheroes don't have s-x. They don't have genitalia, frankly." "Hit Man," a Netflix production, stars Glen Powell and Adria Arjona in what Linklater describes as a "s-xy crime thriller meets screwball comedy." The film's plot centers on Powell's character, Gary Johnson, a professor who doubles as a fake hitman for the New Orleans Police Department.

Johnson's latest target is Arjona's character, Maddy, but he soon finds himself falling for her. "She's the one he will risk everything for, just to sleep with her," Linklater explained. "S-x drives people to do all kinds of crazy things.

Most fights and male aggression stem from s-xual motives. We're not kidding around in this film; they're actually having s-x and enjoying it."

"Hit Man" Success and Long-Term Projects

"Hit Man" is based on a true story chronicled by Skip Hollandsworth in a 2001 article for Texas Monthly.

The film has been praised for its unique blend of thriller and comedy, making it a standout success at the festival. Linklater is also immersed in another ambitious project, "Merrily We Roll Along," based on the 1981 stage musical by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth.

This film, like "Boyhood," is a long-term endeavor, with Linklater planning to shoot over 20 years. Oscar nominee Paul Mescal, cast before his rise to fame in the BBC's "Normal People," stars in the film. So far, Linklater has completed two segments out of nine, aiming to finish by 2041.

"I'll probably be around," Linklater mused. "And if I'm not, I have a few other people who could finish it, and it would still be a decent film."