Martin Scorsese, the legendary director of Raging Bull, Goodfellas and untold more, has unwittingly become the scourge of comic book movie fans after saying that Marvel movies are “not cinema.” But it’s clear fanboys aren’t scaring the man who, some thirty years ago, stood up to the entirety of the Catholic Church after making The Last Temptation of Christ. The filmmaker and film advocate has doubled down on his comments while offering a slight but significant update.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Scorsese’s comments were made at the BFI London Film Festival, where his latest film, the star-studded mafia epic The Irishman, is the closing night film. He repeated his belief that comic book movies — which have become one of the only genres Hollywood studios still regularly crank out, destroying the mid-budget films made by the likes of Scorsese himself — are a plague.
“It’s not cinema, it’s something else,” Scorsese said. “We shouldn’t be invaded by it. We need cinemas to step up and show films that are narrative films.”
Previously Scorsese had compared the films of Marvel and DC to “theme parks.” He doubled down on that as well: “Theaters have become amusement parks. That is all fine and good but don’t invade everything else in that sense.”
He did offer a single olive branch, saying implying he’d been listening to some of the people, such as Guardians of the Galaxy maven James Gunn, who tried to clap back at him but with respect, saying they’re “fine and good for those who enjoy that type of film,” and added, “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.”
Scorsese’s controversial statements about superhero films comes, amusingly, while the number one movie in the world is Joker, a gritty stand-alone renegade origin story that is heavily indebted to two of the director’s most beloved films: Taxi Driver and King of Comedy, even featuring those films star, Robert De Niro, in a key supporting role.