Yet another person has joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe vs. Martin Scorsese debate, this time with Chadwick Boseman entering the fray. The debate started back in October when Scorsese claimed the MCU isn't cinema and likened the movies to "theme parks." This kicked off a lengthy discussion online where both Scorsese and the MCU earned supporters. Famed directors like Francis Scott Coppola and Roland Emmerich took Scorsese's side, while MCU actors like Sebastian Stan and Robert Downey Jr. supported their franchise. Scorsese recently published an op-ed where he clarified his statements, but still refused to see the MCU as cinema.
This weekend, Marvel head Kevin Feige offered his thoughts on Scorsese's comments, stating that he doesn't agree and finds them "unfortunate." Now, Boseman has entered the mix. Boseman stars as T'Challa aka Black Panther in the MCU and so far has appeared in four films. His solo film, Black Panther, has the distinction of being the only MCU film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Earlier this year, the film won three awards including Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score.
Now, IndieWire reports that while speaking to BBC 5 Live, Boseman shared his thoughts about why Scorsese has spoken out against Marvel movies. While he said he respects Scorsese because "he’s a genius at what he does," he then added, "[Scorsese]’s saying it when he’s possibly campaigning for an award. He’s saying it at a time when he’s making a Netflix movie, so that’s how eyes get on his film, and it’s not going to be in the cinemas - it’s not going to be seen the best way." Scorsese's newest film, The Irishman, has stirred up awards buzz. Boseman further defended the MCU by explaining why Scorsese's points about what counts as cinema are essential parts of Black Panther:
The mystery that Scorsese is talking about is in Black Panther. If he saw it, he didn’t get that there was this feeling of not knowing what was going to happen that black people felt. We thought, you know, "White people will kill us off, so it’s a possibility that we could be gone." We felt that angst. We felt that thing you would feel from cinema when we watched it. That’s cultural. Maybe it’s generational.
Boseman is currently promoting his new film 21 Bridges, which will be released on November 22. He plays a New York City detective hunting a pair of cop killers across the city. In 2022, Boseman will reprise his role as T'Challa in Black Panther II, which was officially announced this past summer.
At this point, it feels like almost everyone on both sides of the debate has shared their thoughts. It is unlikely Scorsese will change this mind, as he has already doubled-down on his comments multiple times. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, including Scorsese, but it sounds like he is refusing to hear the other side's arguments. While he makes some valid points in his op-ed (like about how the MCU is affecting the moviegoing landscape), to write off an entire genre as "not cinema" is reductive and condescending. Boseman may or may not be correct in his belief that Scorsese is attempting to get attention for his new film, but he makes an excellent point in saying the themes at the heart of Black Panther fit into Scorsese's definition of cinema. The MCU has films that deal with real issues and emotions. Regardless of how Scorsese feels about them, it has plenty of supporters and probably will for a long time.
- 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
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022