Another day, another filmmaker using superhero movies as a punching bag, and another outcry from fans over it. The latest is Dune director Denis Villeneuve, who accused the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies of being "cut and paste" blockbusters. The jab comes from the director of movies like Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, both of which earned rave critical reviews but failed to hit the lofty expectations of inflated box office returns. Those expectations were created, in part, by Marvel's perennial success churning out billion-dollar mega-hits. The list of directors who have taken aim at Marvel is so long at this point, that it's essentially impossible to recount them all.
Martin Scorsese's frequent comments on the matter have made it headline news time and again. It's a vicious cycle, because when an esteemed director like Scorsese or A History of Violence's David Cronenberg chime in on the topic, reporters then ask them about it in later interviews, leading to more comments.
To be fair to Villeneuve, he seems to have a little bit of perspective that some other filmmakers lack, saying that "there are too many Marvel movies that are nothing more than a cut and paste of others," suggesting some level of distinction in his mind among the Marvel films. This reads more like a critique of the "Marvel method" that has been discussed for making crowd-pleasing blockbusters than of superhero movies, or even Marvel movies, as a whole.
Still, that has not stopped fans from taking the criticism personally. Twitter is full of comments this morning taking shots at Villeneuve and his movies, or defending him and taking shots at Marvel. Of course, it's unlikely he will see any of it, as he is already focused on the next thing.
Villeneuve spoke to Total Film recently about how optimistic he is that they will be able to make a Part Two for Dune.
"We have been hearing in the past few decades that it's not possible to adapt this book, and that it's an impossible task. I think that in the back of the mind of the studio, it's still the same!" Villeneuve told Total Film. "So the first thing was to prove that there was a beautiful, popular movie that can exist, and I think that I proved that – everybody at Warner Bros and Legendary, they are 100 percent behind the project. They feel that it would need a really bad outcome at the box office to not have a Dune: Part Two, because they love the movie. They are proud of the movie, so they want the movie to move forward. And they still did half of it. So, you know, I'm very optimistic."
You can check out some of the "discourse" below.
The timing isn't ideal
Feels kinda weird that last week Chloe Zhao was sing her praises of Dune and Denis. And the next week he shits on the franchise of her next movie. Kind of lame— Michael Garcia (@MichaelGar93) September 16, 2021
Not completely wrong
Denis Villeneuve is not completely wrong, I like watching Marvel films but it is often the same thing and the directors are often yes man or when there is a good director behind the camera he is completely flange.— FabSpike 🇨🇵 (@Fab_spike) September 16, 2021
There is some truth to it but imo much of it tends to be overblown. I will be honest a lot of these comments from Denis, Martin, Francis,etc. Is due to the huge success of the MCU. @ScholarsInk— The Question (@FikrAlJabarti) September 16, 2021
This seems like the healthiest approach
I'm a fan of director Denis Villeneuve. But that's beside the point. I could care less what he thinks about the #MCU.— 𝚋𝚕𝚊𝚌𝚔 𝚝𝚘𝚖 𝚌𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚍𝚢 (@Micah_Not_Micha) September 16, 2021
Can it, Rusty, your story's boring!
Yes, but complaining about Marvel movies being formulaic is itself formulaic
I'm tired of the discourse— Spooki Wendi (@ReallyWendi) September 16, 2021
Taking the bait
You comic-book dudes are always taking this bait. Sure, Denis’ comments are hyperbolic and inaccurate, but can you blame him for making them? He and other well-established filmmakers are fighting to get their movies on big screens, so it’s understandable.— DarkModeDaddy (@DarkModeDaddy) September 16, 2021
From the director of District 9
What a fucking asshole https://t.co/vXH13aIAA1— Neill Blomkamp (@NeillBlomkamp) September 16, 2021
The two most common replies in one answer
someone really needed the attention today…. Makes me not wanna go see your movie now https://t.co/y209HynTcC— johnny (@topjohnnyboi) September 16, 2021