While the Joker discourse for the past few weeks was already at a fever pitch by the time Todd Phillips’ film finally premiered on Friday, Martin Scorsese — whose work clearly inspires the Joaquin Phoenix-led production — inadvertently ignited another dumb fire. Speaking with Empire, the director proclaimed that comic book movies a la the Marvel Cinematic Universe were “not cinema.” Instead, they were more like “theme parks,” in his estimation. James Gunn and others affiliated with the MCU rebuffed Scorsese’s comments, thereby producing a new dumb discourse online.
Plenty of other industry professionals, entertainment journalists, Twitter trolls, and more got in on the back-and-forth — including Nick Fury himself, actor Samuel L. Jackson. Thankfully, though, the latter was able to offer a few calming words regarding Scorsese’s comments and the response to them. Speaking with Variety, Jackson initially said, “I mean that’s like saying Bugs Bunny ain’t funny. Films are films. Everybody doesn’t like his stuff either.” However, he added, “Everybody’s got an opinion, so I mean it’s okay. Ain’t going to stop nobody from making movies.”
So, in other words, everything is fine! Some filmmakers and cinephiles might not consider what Kevin Feige and company are doing is the same as “cinema.” Others will disagree. Either way, nobody is saying that theme parks are inherently bad. They’re fun!