Captain America
Chris Evans as Captain America in The Winter SoldierMarvel Studios

Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo have likened award shows snubbing superhero movies to the way they treated popular westerns in the past.

Asked by Deadline about comic book movies being snubbed at awards shows like the Oscars and Golden Globes, Joe said: "Snubbing comic book movies because of their ubiquity is akin to dismissing the western as matinee fodder."

The Russo brothers were behind the hugely successful Captain America: The Winter Soldier earlier this year, which was a critical and commercial success, bringing in over $700m (£435m) worldwide.

"It's strange that the comic book film genre is so often thought of only in terms of its economic merits," continued Joe.

"Yes, it's shockingly popular and continues to grow, and, yes, the box office success of these films can often embarrassingly outweigh their merits, but as Christopher Nolan perhaps first proved, real and valuable filmmaking can be achieved with the genre.

"It's sad that some people, seemingly soured by having to endure the massive cultural presence and expectations that even mediocre or poor examples of the genre can generate, react by trying to reject the genre as a whole."

Asked what the Captain America sequel's chances are at next year's awards shows, Anthony pointed out how different it was to the majority of superhero movies, having been influenced by 1970s political thrillers. "It's a real movie, real filmmaking, and it has really high aspirations, in terms of what cinema can be and what it can do, and what our experience of it is. It has every intention on the part of the filmmakers to reach audiences on the deepest level."

Answering the same question, Anthony raised a very interesting point: "I think you look at all those awards ceremonies, there's a whole process of advocacy for those awards, right? What is the value of the award [to Marvel]? Why should they spend the money required to go down that road? To create the box office? They already have the box office."

The Russos will be back for Captain America 3 in 2016, which was recently revealed to be starring Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, opposite Chris Evans as the title star. That film will be released on 29 April 2016.