Controversial comedian Ricky Gervais cracked a joke about The Irishman director Martin Scorsese's viral commentary about Marvel movies when hosting the 77th Golden Globe Awards. Scorsese made headlines during his Irishman press tour when he said Marvel Studios movies are "not cinema," telling Empire Magazine: "I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema. 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."
“Martin Scorsese, the greatest living director, made the news for his controversial comments about the Marvel franchise. He said they’re not real cinema, and they remind him of theme parks. I agree,” Gervais said when opening the ceremony. “Although I don’t know what he’s doing hanging around at theme parks — he’s not big enough to go on the rides. He’s tiny.”
Scorsese, sat next to his chuckling Irishman star Robert De Niro, took the gag with an admission Gervais’ commentary was true. Gervais also took a jab at the many superhero stars in the audience, quipping that “all of the best actors have jumped to Netflix and HBO.”
“The actors who just do Hollywood movies now do fantasy adventure nonsense. They wear masks and capes and really tight costumes,” Gervais said. “Their job isn’t acting anymore. It’s going to a gym twice a day and taking steroids. Have we got an award for ‘Most Ripped Junkie?’ No point, we know who’d win that.”
When following up on his initial Marvel comments in subsequent public appearances, Scorsese expressed concerns superhero movies are "taking over the theaters" and pushing out "narrative cinema," including the works of filmmakers Noah Baumbach, Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson.
“Right now the theaters seem to be mainly supporting the theme park, amusement park, comic book films. They’re taking over the theaters,” Scorsese said during Rome Film Fest in October. “I think they can have those films; it’s fine. It’s just that that shouldn’t become what our young people believe is cinema. It just shouldn’t.”
Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers star Karen Gillan was the latest Marvel star to address Scorsese's criticisms, saying on Larry King Now there exists enough room for "all types of movies."
“I would say that there’s just different types of cinema, and I respect his type of cinema so much. He’s one of my favorite directors of all time,” Gillan said. “But I do think there’s room for all types of movies. And the ones that he describes as theme park rides, I would say that that’s certainly no bad thing. I think people love going to the cinema to escape and have a communal experience and something otherworldly, so I think there’s room for everything.”