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Martin Scorsese says Marvel movies 'not cinema,' compares them to theme parks
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become one of the most dominant forces in 21st-century pop culture, earning massive box-office returns every time a new film joins the continuity and even building up a presence on the awards circuit thanks to the success of Black Panther. The MCU is so dominant, in fact, that if you spend most of your time around people who are all-in on those films, you can sometimes forget that despite their massive success, they're just not for everyone. Apparently, Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese is among the latter group.
In a new interview with Empire to promote his upcoming Netflix film The Irishman, Scorsese revealed that despite his cinephile nature, he just can't get into Marvel films, despite dubbing them "well made."
“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema," he said. "Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
Scorsese is one of the most celebrated, decorated filmmakers in the history of cinema, with a career in feature films that stretches back more than 50 years. He's worked with some of the best actors of all time (including some who've happily joined the MCU) and made some of the greatest movies in the history of the medium. He's also, famously, a movie fan first and foremost, happy to gush over his love for everything from Japanese period dramas to Italian horror films to good old-fashioned American melodramas and everything in between. He's also not someone who's lost touch with current releases, and he proved it by lavishing praise onto Ari Aster's Midsommar in the same interview. The Marvel movies are just not for him.
Scorsese did not elaborate on which Marvel films he attempted to see, or the specific elements that didn't resonate, but he also didn't go out of his way to bash the films, either. For him, they represent a kind of big-screen storytelling he's just not interested in, which is why he's off using digital de-aging technology for films like The Irishman instead of volunteering to use the same technology for Ant-Man flashbacks.
Of course, that doesn't mean everyone has to be happy about it. Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon took to his Twitter account Friday to stick up for the MCU and respectfully disagree with the legendary filmmaker.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn also weighed in, noting how "saddened" he was by Scorsese's comments.
Despite that, Gunn also noted he will "always love" Scorsese and his films, and he's looking forward to The Irishman.
The Irishman arrives on Netflix in November.