Mark Gatiss on moving away from fantasy – and why he’s fed up with superhero movies

"Over-saturation of anything makes the taste poor. It's not interesting," the Sherlock star and Doctor Who writer tells


Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss grew up dreaming of superheroes, horror and fantasy.


The 48-year-old, who found fame with The League of Gentlemen, readily admits that, as a child, he would have loved today’s cinema, where you can’t move for comic book characters and sci-fi adventures.

But as a grown man the writer and actor says he is “fed up with superhero movies.”

“There are just too many. Over-saturation of anything makes the taste poor. It’s not interesting,” he tells 

“You can just smell the money. They’re not doing another Spiderman because there is a need to do another Spiderman. They are just making more money. If you push it as far as it will go, they’ll just remake Spiderman until we all drop dead!”

“It’s a crowded market now which is obviously a measure of its huge success,” he adds: “But I think what will happen is that a couple of those big $300 million movies will flop and then out of the ashes of that we’ll get a rebirth of interesting stuff.”

What Gatiss hopes for is “smaller, quirkier, more interesting, less bloated films.”

And not necessarily from the fantasy genre he has championed for so long…

“There’s so much fantasy around I sort of feel that my tastebuds have changed,” he tells us. “I feel like I’m drawn to something slightly different now. It sounds ridiculous because it’s what I’ve always wanted but there is so much of it about that it’s quite hard to find the stuff you really want to watch now.” 

What would eight-year-old Mark think about that, we wonder?

“The child in all of us is what we should be responding to. It keeps you fit and alive I think because you’re responding to the same things that you got enthusiastic about,” says Gatiss. “But at the same time I think it’s also nice to give yourself permission to change your mind. What you liked when you were eight isn’t necessarily what you have to like when you are 48. You can sort of go, ‘Oh okay, I’ve moved on from that.'”


Mark Gatiss’ Who Do You Think You Are? is on Thursday at 9:00pm on BBC1