Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Endgame star Karen Gillan says Marvel Studios films are “great cinema” in response to The Irishman filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s denigrating comments about Marvel, in which Scorsese compared Marvel movies to “theme parks” before saying superhero movies are “not cinema.” Scorsese’s comments sparked sentiments of agreement from The Godfather filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and disagreement from Gillan’s Guardians director James Gunn, who previously wrote on Twitter he was “saddened” Scorsese was “judging” his films in the same way audiences picketed Scorsese’s own The Last Temptation of Christ without having first seen that film.
“It’s really interesting to watch all of these comments come out, but I think everyone’s entitled to their own opinions. I personally think Marvel films are great cinema,” the Nebula actress said at Paris Comic Con. “I think that James Gunn is such an incredible filmmaker, and I see so much of his heart and soul in these films, that they have to be cinema. I mean, he’s a very creative filmmaker. I think they are cinema.”
Gillan added with a laugh, “Although I’m the biggest Scorsese fan ever.”
Scorsese later admitted to worries superhero films are taking over movie theaters. He also expanded upon his controversial comments in an op-ed published by The New York Times, where Scorsese wrote “nothing is at risk” in Marvel movies and these “pictures are made to satisfy a specific set of demands, and they are designed as variations on a finite number of themes.”
When responding to Scorsese’s criticisms, Disney CEO Bob Iger said he was willing to debate Scorsese over his belief that Marvel’s movies are amusement park attractions and not what Scorsese said is “the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
“First of all, Marvel’s making movies. They’re movies. That’s what Martin Scorsese makes. And they’re good movies,” Iger said on BBC Radio’s The Media Show.
Marvel Studios’ movies are realized by “good directors, and good writers, and good actors, and good cinematographers, and good costume designers, and good sound engineers, and good editors, I could go on and on,” Iger said. “These are talented, talented people that are putting their hard work and talent into making films that entertain people in theaters around the world. Everybody goes, the lights go down, people buy popcorn, they have a good two-hour experience, they come out feeling happy or better about themselves.”
Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021 and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Marvel Studios Disney+ series without release dates include Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight and She-Hulk.
Photo credit: Albert L. Ortega, Getty Images