Samuel L. Jackson Responds to Quentin Tarantino Claiming Marvel Actors Aren't "Movie Stars"

Earlier this month, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino shared how he felt that the actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe aren't the major draw for audiences as much as the characters they play, with MCU veteran Samuel L. Jackson reacting to those remarks with how some figures are intrinsically linked with their on-screen personas. The actor pointed out how there's no specific qualifier for what defines a movie star and how some of the actors involved in the MCU are assuredly movie stars who also happen to play iconic characters in the Marvel franchise. Jackson has had a variety of roles in Tarantino films, including Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, and The Hateful Eight.

"It takes an actor to be those particular characters, and the sign of movie stardom has always been, what, asses in seats? What are we talking about?" Jackson shared on The View, per Entertainment Weekly. "That's not a big controversy for me to know that apparently these actors are movie stars. Chadwick Boseman is Black Panther. You can't refute that, and he's a movie star."

Jackson debuted in the MCU in a post-credits scene of Iron Man, and with Jackson set to return as Nick Fury in Secret Invasion, he has been the longest-running staple of the franchise.

Over the course of his career, Tarantino has made it clear that he loves comic books and these characters, though he has little interest in bringing any such figures to life for a movie or TV series. While speaking with the 2 Bears, 1 Cave podcast, Tarantino spoke to the idea of how audiences are more interested in seeing these characters' adventures unfold as opposed to specifically being drawn in by the performers responsible for bringing them to life.

"You have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters," Tarantino recalled to the podcast. "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... but it's like, you know, it's these franchise characters that become a star."

Despite the knee-jerk reaction some Marvel fans might have about Tarantino's criticisms, it's hard to refute them entirely. Figures like Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Brie Larson, or Tom Holland might now be considered movie stars, but when they took on their now-iconic roles for the franchise, they were far less recognizable than their on-screen personas. However, it was the skills they demonstrated as their MCU characters that then helped turn them into "movie stars" and led them to become bankable performers in their other projects. 

Stay tuned for updates on Secret Invasion, which is set to debut on Disney+ sometime this year.

What do you think of Jackson's remarks? Let us know in the comments!