Suicide Squad Star Viola Davis Addresses Comic Book Movie Criticisms

The discourse of whether or not comic book movies are art has reached a fever pitch in recent weeks, after comments from acclaimed directors Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola kicked off a lot of criticism about the trend. The topic has courted responses from people with a wide array of thoughts on the subject, as well as other celebrities and creatives in the industry. One of the latest to address the controversy is Viola Davis, who portrays Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad and the forthcoming The Suicide Squad. During a recent appearance at the Rome Film Festival, where she was honored with the event's lifetime achievement award, Davis weighed in on the debate. As the Oscar-winning actress put it, comic book movies deserve a place in the conversation about cinema, as they can capture people's imaginations in a way that art should.

“I do like a good Marvel movie. I do like a good DC Comics movie,” Davis explained (via The Hollywood Reporter). “Albert Einstein said that imagination is more valuable than knowledge. If I did not have my imagination, I would still be poor Viola living in Central Falls, Rhode Island, who is not considered attractive or whatever. My imagination defined me. I could escape into a world that’s infinite, a world that I could create on my own, a world where I could redefine myself. That’s where art lives."

“Art lives in that world of imagination." Davis continued. "It’s a playground there. It’s God’s playground. It’s not up to anyone to say what deserves to be there and what doesn’t deserve to be there. It’s anything that you want to be in that place can live there. And that is why we have some of the greatest painters, some of the greatest actors, some of the greatest writers, and that’s why we live. So I do believe that there’s a place for all of it.”

Davis went on to say that she's a fan of Scorsese's body of work and can understand his take on the whole debate.

“I think he was voicing his opinion. I think it’s valid,” Davis revealed. “Everyone had a place, an opinion. But I like a good Marvel movie.”

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Joker is in theaters now. Upcoming DC movies include Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.