Eternals Star Kumail Nanjiani Says Scorsese "Earned the Right" to Superhero Criticisms

Over the course of the past few years, Martin Scorsese has been in the news around these parts not due to any major award wins, but because of his comments suggesting superhero movies aren't legitimate cinema. Since 2019, virtually everyone involved in superhero cinema has responded to the director's comments. According to Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani, no other filmmaker in Hollywood has earned the right to criticize Marvel movies more than Scorsese.

"I obviously love the movies Tarantino makes or Scorsese makes," Nanjiani recently said in an Esquire magazine interview. "And I may disagree with Scorsese's opinion on superhero movies, but I mean, who else has earned the right to have an opinion?"

He added, "If Scorsese hasn't earned the right to have an opinion on movies, then none of us should have an opinion on movies. It's so strange that people get upset about it."

What did Martin Scorsese say about Marvel movies?

Around the time The Irishman saw its release, Scorsese said he doesn't watch superhero blockbusters as they're closer to theme park rides than cinema.

"I don't see them. I tried, you know? But that's not cinema," the auteur told Empire at time. "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."

Shortly thereafter, fellow Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola echoed the sentiment.

"Personally I don't like the idea of franchises, the notion that you can keep repeating what is essentially the same movie for financial gain — in other words what is a formulaic approach," Coppola said later that October. "I feel that approach is taken to reduce the economic risk of movies and I feel the 'risk factor' is an element that makes movies sometimes be great. Also the formulaic film draws most available resources to them, leaving little for more daring productions, reducing diversity."

"In some ways I think the cinema is like food; certainly you can add things to make it tempting, tasty and enjoyable but it must also be nutritious to qualify as real food," he added.

Eternals is now streaming on Disney+.