Legendary director Martin Scorsese says he doesn't see Marvel Studios movies, dismissing them as "not cinema".
"I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” Scorsese told Empire (via DigitalSpy). "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 may be off comic book movies himself, but the director of Warner Bros.' Joker Todd Phillips has stated his film is less akin to popular superhero movies and more in line with Scorsese's classic movies Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. Scorsese himself was once rumored as a producer on the film.
Scorsese's comments echo previous comments by Steven Spielberg, who dismissed comic book movies as a fad that will go out of fashion, likening them to the now largely ignored western genre that was popular in the mid 20th century saying "There will be a time when the superhero movie goes away."
Of course, Spielberg himself is now attached as a producer (and possibly director) on a comic book movie - Blackhawk from Warner Bros.
Updated: Now writer-director James Gunn of Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy and Warner Bros.' The Suicide Squad has jumped into the fray, tweeting Friday in response to Scorsese's interview, saying he was "saddended" by the comments.
Martin Scorsese is one of my 5 favorite living filmmakers. I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way. https://t.co/hzHp8x4Aj8— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 4, 2019
Gunn later added:
That said, I will always love Scorsese, be grateful for his contribution to cinema, and can’t wait to see The Irishman.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 4, 2019
Interestingly, one of the stars of Scorsese's The Irishmen, the film he is out promoting which started this dialogue, is Al Pacino, who a few years back got some online attention for endorsing Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy and the genre in general.
“It was just inventive, funny, strong, the production of it, the ingenuity of it,” he said. “Why wouldn’t I like a movie like that, appreciate a movie like that? I’m not necessarily going to be in it, but there’s value to it” he told the Happy Sad Confused podcast in 2014, further revealing he had met with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
Pacino implied the two spoke about possible roles though nothing as of yet has come to fruition.