Actor-director Mel Gibson, whose "comeback movie" Hacksaw Ridge drew a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival this week, is apparently not a fan of big budget superhero films.
He's also got a particular aversion to the widely panned 2016 superhero blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, describing it as as "a piece of s***".
Gibson made the succinct observation above during an interview with Deadline, in which he discussed the making of $250 million (NZD$335 million) blockbusters (the estimated budget of Zack Snyder's superhero showdown movie). He told the website that, as a director, he couldn't imagine making a film with so high a budget.
"I look at them and scratch my head," he said. "I'm really baffled by it. I think there's a lot of waste, but maybe if I did one of those things with the green screens I'd find out different.
I don't know. "
The former Mad Max star, who was the first choice to play Batman in Tim Burton's 1989 film - he reportedly had to turn the role down due to other filming commitments - also indicated that the latest crop of superhero movies has left him cold.
"I'm not interested in the stuff," he told Deadline. "Do you know what the difference between real superheroes and comic book superheroes is? Real superheroes didn't wear spandex. So I don't know. Spandex must cost a lot."
The director's reference to "real superheroes" was most likely an allusion to the hero of Hacksaw Ridge: the film tells the true story of conscientous objector and army medic Desmond Doss, who was awarded the US Medal of Honour for his bravery during the Second World War.
The film, Gibson believes, will be a particular hit with female audiences.
"We tested it [Hacksaw Ridge] twice and I don't think anyone disliked it, and the scores were really good," he told Deadline. "Women liked it more than guys."
"I think they like the romance aspect, and the girl [played by Teresa Palmer]. I also think there's something endearing about Andrew. You see this guy who's a nurturer. I think women naturally are, as human beings, more nurturers. So you see a guy doing that I think it just touches something in there at a core level of who they are. "
"I mean most women become mothers at some point. They're nurturing kind of people. So this character was as completely selfless as a mother. So I think it just kind of plays to women."