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When some people think of action stars, Sylvester Stallone might be the first face that comes to mind. The Golden Globe winner once carved a lane for himself in Hollywood by starring in action thrillers like Rambo. However, despite his contributions, the Rocky actor feels that eventually, superhero films might have canceled out his genre.

How superhero films impacted action movies according to Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone posing in a black sweater.
Sylvester Stallone | Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

For Sylvester Stallone, the action genre hasn’t seen the same heights it once did in his glory days. Most of the reason for that is the advent of superhero films and the technology that came with them. Stallone first credits 1989’s Batman starring Michael Keaton as the reason for this shift in genres.

“It was the first Batman movie,” Stallone told the LA Times, who noted made Stallone feel like he was becoming expendable. “The action movies changed radically when it became possible to Velcro your muscles on. It was the beginning of a new era. The visual took over. The special effects became more important than the single person. That was the beginning of the end.”

But Stallone quipped that the new aesthetic given to stars of superhero films would’ve made his job a bit easier.

“I wish I had thought of Velcro myself,” Stallone said. “I didn’t have to go to the gym for all those years, all the hours wedded to the iron game, as we call it.”

Stallone also believes the spectacle of superhero films has made it harder for traditional action films to break through.

“This genre, unfortunately, is becoming … let’s just say it’s fading away,” Stallone told Entertainment Tonight (via “You have the superheroes today which are possessed with all extraordinary powers; they can blink, and a fireball comes out of there. It’s great. And then you have a bunch of us, which is just your basic male-pattern badness. … Kind of like hands-on action.”

Stallone now views comic book films as the natural progression of mythology.

If you can’t beat them, join them. This is a motto that Sylvester Stallone might have followed recently when it comes to superhero movies. The Expendables star dipped his toe into the superhero subgenre by featuring in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. After being recruited, Stallone couldn’t help but gush about being a part of the MCU.

“It was interesting because I love [Marvel] films, but I haven’t ventured into the genre, so it was quite an experience. When I walked on the set, [I saw] robots and things, a woman who was seven feet tall, and everything else. I thought, ‘This is great,’” Stallone said in a separate interview with

Stallone now views comic book films as the natural progression of mythology.

“Early on in my career I became fascinated with mythology. Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces, and so on and so forth. When I started doing Rambo, [I came to understand] there’s an evolution that takes place. Every generation has to find itself, define its own heroes, define its own mythology. And [the MCU] is this generation’s – and maybe even the next generation’s – mythology,” Stallone shared.

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Despite his initial feelings toward the films, Sylvester Stallone’s superhero film career almost started decades earlier. The actor nearly found himself starring in one of cinema’s most influential superhero movies in Superman. Richard Donner met with many actors for his project. One of those actors was Sylvester Stallone.

“We had a great casting director [Lynn Stalmaster]. He would put many, many people together. But the Salkinds [Alexander and his son, Ilya] wanted a name,” Donner told Hollywood Reporter. “I met with Sylvester Stallone because of them. I tried to be nice and say, “This is wrong.” I liked Stallone; he turned out to be a nice guy. He wanted to do it.”