Quentin Tarantino is firing some big shots at Marvel Studios and its Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. In a new podcast interview, Tarantino took on what he calls "the Marvel-ization of Hollywood movies," and once again re-iterated just how much "I don't love them." He then went on to criticize the actors who bring the MCU to life, saying in no uncertain terms that "they're not movie stars," in the traditional sense as he understands it. All of this is sure to go over well with Marvel fans – especially on the heels of a release like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever...
In full disclosure, Quentin Tarantino was a bit more diplomatic in his full explanation to host Tom Segura. The Oscar-winning filmmaker admitted that his age has something to do with his age (59), and that "if these movies were coming out when I was in my twenties, I would totally be f*cking happy and totally love them."
Tarantino also admitted it's not the actors or their performances that disqualify them as "movie stars," but rather the fact that its the characters and universe that attract viewers, not the actors themselves: "You have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters. But they're not movie stars. Right? Captain America is the star. Or Thor is the star... it's these franchise characters that become a star."
Again, that latter bit is an ill-timed opinion to stand on. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is an entire Marvel movie dedicated to the idea that a specific actor (Chadwick Boseman) had the unique star power that made the character of T'Challa/Black Panther what he was – and that the character simply can't be recast as if the loss of Boseman was inconsequential to the larger franchise.
It's just as debatable that audiences don't just come to see Marvel characters, as Tarantino claims. Many of the Avengers franchise stars – Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson – all seem to draw crowds to theaters for their Marvel team-ups, solo films, and all the other films they've starred in respectively that have also been successful. It was Robert Downey Jr.'s charisma that took Tony Star/Iron Man on a meteoric rise from C-list character to worldwide icon (see also: Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch); and if nothing else, Spider-Man: No Way Home was testament to how much people care about the particular actor who plays a superhero role. Then there's the overarching question of whether it takes true movie star power to make a superhero costume even look half-convincing...
Quentin Tarantino is still a masterful filmmaker in his own right, but clearly he's standing on a side of the fence with James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, and other directors who feel something sacred has been sacrificed to give Marvel its reign at the top.
Quentin Tarantino Criticizes Marvel Movies & Actors
Here are Quentin Tarantino's full words to 2 Bears, 1 Cave podcast:
"I mean that is one of the – and I'm not even putting them down frankly, to tell you the truth. But that is one of the – the legacy of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood movies," Tarantino said.
Responding to a sarcastic joke about his love of the MCU, Tarantino responded:
"I don't love them. No, I don't – I don't hate them. All right. But I don't love them. Right. I mean, look, I used to collect Marvel comics like crazy when I was a kid. There's an aspect that if these movies were coming out when I was in my twenties, I would totally be f*cking happy and totally love them.
I mean, they wouldn't be the only movies being made. They would be those movies amongst other movies. But, you know, I'm almost 60, so yeah. No, I'm not quite as excited about them."
On the subject for Marvel actors, Tarantino argued the following:
"Part of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood is... you have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters. But they're not movie stars. Right? Captain America is the star. Or Thor is the star. I mean, I'm not the first person to say that. I think that's been said a zillion times, you know, but, you know, but it's like, you know, it's these franchise characters that become a star," Tarantino concluded.