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SYFY WIRE Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese doubles down on Marvel movie comments, says theater owners have 'to step up'

By Josh Weiss
Martin Scorsese Marvel

While promoting The Irishman at the BFI London Film Festival this past weekend, director Martin Scorsese doubled down on his comments about Marvel movies not being "cinema." 

"There's room for so many others now. And so many other ways," he said. "There's gonna be crossovers completely [but] 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. As I was saying earlier, it's not cinema, it's something else. Whether you go for that or not, but it is something else and we shouldn't be invaded by it. And so, that's a big issue, and we need the theater owners to step up for that to allow theaters to show films that are narrative films. A narrative film could be one long take for three hours, you know. There doesn't have to be a conventional beginning, middle, and end."

Scorsese's divisive thoughts on comic book flicks were made known to the world via an interview he did with Empire Magazine for the publication's November issue. Since that time, James Gunn, Joss Whedon,  Samuel L. Jackson, Karen Gillan, and Robert Downey Jr. have all weighed in on the issue.

"It'd be like saying, 'Howard Stern isn't radio.' It makes no sense to say it," said Downey Jr. during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show. "There's a lot to be said for how these genre movies — and I was happy to be a part of the 'problem' if there is one — denigrated the era, the art form of cinema. When you come in like a stomping beast and you eliminate the competition in such a demonstrative way, it's phenomenal ... Do you actually think that Martin Scorsese is upset about Marvel movies?"

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Scorsese's statement seen in the tweet above mirrored what he said at BAFTA's annual David Lean lecture the day before:

"Theaters have become amusement parks. That is all fine and good but don’t invade everything else in that sense. That is fine and good for those who enjoy that type of film and, by the way, knowing what goes into them now, I admire what they do. It’s not my kind of thing, it simply is not. It’s creating another kind of audience that thinks cinema is that." 

Martin Scorsese Marvel

The Irishman, which explores the infamous disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa (played by Al Pacino in the three-and-a-half-hour-long movie), will receive a limited theatrical release on Friday, Nov. 1 — the same day as Terminator: Dark Fate. It will then hit Netflix on Wednesday, Nov. 27.