Schwarzenegger is right, actually: The Chris discourse really is “so yesterday.” Maybe there was a time when the “worst Chris” conversation was necessary, but we are well past that moment. A decade ago, we were in the early throes of the Marvel-fication of Hollywood, a shift that forever changed tentpoles. Two Chris vehicles — Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger — were both released in 2011; Avengers would follow the next year, weaving them together and nailing down the MCU’s serialized, intertwining approach to its blockbusters. Many critics felt that this almost television-inspired approach to moviemaking led to a certain, numbing sameness, structurally and aesthetically.
That so many of these Marvel movies — as well as parallel hits at the time like J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek reboot — were fronted by similar-looking buff boys named Chris was a perfect encapsulation of our fascination and unease with this changing movie landscape. The Chriscourse was a way to point it all out and process it. Fast-forward and films like Black Panther and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse have made the term “Marvel movie” far less white and homogenous than what the Chrises once symbolized.
The discourse was once a useful rhetorical tool for processing what movies looked like; now they no longer serve that function, particularly in a year when there aren’t even any Marvel movies at all. To continue to fixate on these four bland vanilla wafers is to perpetuate their centrality in Hollywood, and I, for one, would really rather not.
I’d be glad for all of us to just move on.
The whole “one’s gotta go!” Twitter trend sucks anyway.