Martin Scorsese provides context to his controversial Marvel movie comments. Earlier this month, the critically-acclaimed filmmaker admitted that he can't get onboard with the MCU, despite really trying. He went as far as saying that he thinks they're "not cinema" since they're not "the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being." This obviously didn't go over well with MCU fans, who feel it unfair for him to judge the franchise without seeing the films.
Since Scorsese's comments came to light, they've been the talk of the town. Aside from the fan community, prominent franchise figures such as Robert Downey Jr., James Gunn, Joss Whedon and Samuel L. Jackson have all responded to his criticism. All of them echo the same sentiments - they acknowledge the filmmaker's indelible contribution to the film industry, but respectfully disagree with his opinion. But amid the pushback, Scorsese stood his ground, even doubling down on his initial statement, adding that people shouldn't let Marvel movies "invade" Hollywood.
Now, in a brand new statement, Scorsese is offering some context on what exactly he meant with regard to his Marvel movie criticism. While attending the press conference for his much-anticipated project The Irishman at the BFI London Film Festival, which Hey U Guys (via LRM) attended, the director clarified his comments by saying:
“What has to be protected is the singular experience of experiencing a picture, ideally with an audience. But there’s room for so many others now, and so many other ways. There’s going to be crossovers, completely. The value of a film that’s like a theme park film, for example, the Marvel-type pictures, where the theaters become amusement parks, that’s a different experience. I was saying earlier, it’s not cinema, it’s something else. Whether you go for that or not.”
The public can break down Scorsese's comments into several sections and the overall point is still frankly quite unclear. He wants films that are singular theater experiences, standalone ones which exists on their own and are driven only by their established narratives - not affected by anything else. But he also admits that at this point in the industry, there's a myriad of ways the movies can be executed, like how Marvel Studios does their movies with crossovers. Unfortunately, he doesn't count these "theme parks film[s]" as cinema, but he'll let the public decide if they also want those films or not.
It's no secret Marvel Studios' success with the MCU has affected how Hollywood works nowadays, with other companies attempting to mimic their creative and business models. That paved the way for the rise of franchises and movies intended to start to a new one - regardless if a sequel actually comes to fruition. While quite convoluted in his delivery, Scorsese seems to just be concerned with one-off movies getting gobbled up by these massive interconnected franchises, and that's a fair point. In the last few years, there's been a very small number of pictures that were done without the intention of making some kind of follow-up. Then again, theaters show both the Marvel movies and other standalone films. Essentially, there's really no difference to them other than how their stories are executed, so it's unclear why one is dubbed by Scorsese as "cinema," while the other is not.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021