The Oscar-winning director has come under fire for his recent comments where he compared the MCU films to “theme parks,” at the same time admitting he hadn’t seen them.
Director Martin Scorsese’s criticism of Marvel’s blockbuster slate of movies is still resonating among its legions of fans and now some of the actors are chiming in with their own hot takes.
Admitting that he hadn’t seen them ("I tried, you know?"), Scorsese said the films are "not cinema," going on to clarify (i.e. dig a deeper hole), "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."
Karen Gillan, who has appeared in several Marvel films to date, most notably the "Guardians of the Galaxy" films and "Avengers: Endgame" took issue with his assertion, countering that the films are "absolutely" cinema. "Cinema is story-telling with visuals," she said plainly.
The actress then went on to praise the storytelling of "GotG" director James Gunn, telling The Hollywood Reporter are made of of "heart and soul," and Gunn’s soul in particular.
"He injects so much of his own personality, his sense of humor," Gillan said. "That’s a very big representation of who he is as a person and therefore it’s very cinematic. He’s an artist."
And Gillan wasn’t the only MCU star reacting to Scorsese’s slam. Samuel L. Jackson, who has appeared in more Marvel movies than anyone with his 12th on-screen appearance in "Spider-Man: Far From Home," had his own hot take, telling Variety, "I mean, that’s like saying Bugs Bunny ain’t funny."
"Films are films," Jackson said. "Everybody doesn’t like his stuff either." But he was also gracious, allowing that "everybody’s got an opinion" and that it "ain’t going to stop nobody from making movies."
Obviously, the MCU continues to truck along, looking at wrapping up its most successful year yet with all three of its major releases breaking the $1 billion mark. Even if they were just "theme parks" on the big screen, Disney would keep churning them out. They do know a thing or two about successful theme parks, as well.
The Oscar-winner responsible for films such as "The Departed," "Taxi Driver," "Goodfellas" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" came under the scorn of Marvel fans after his comments about the beloved franchise went public, but for Gunn, the part of Scorsese’s criticism that stung the hardest was that he appeared to be making these assertions without having seen the films.
"Martin Scorsese is one of my 5 favorite living filmmakers," he tweeted. "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."
"I’m not saying religious zealotry is the same as not liking my movies, or in the same category," Gunn continued. "What I’m saying is I’m not fond of people judging things without actually seeing them, whether it’s a movie about Jesus or a genre." That said, he also insisted he still loves the director and was looking forward to his next film, "The Irishman."
Joss Whedon, the man behind the first two "Avengers" movies, reacted as well — specifically calling out Gunn’s contribution to the MCU.
"I first think of @JamesGunn, how his heart & guts are packed into GOTG," he said. "I revere Marty, & I do see his point, but… Well there’s a reason why ‘I’m always angry.’"
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