Martin Scorsese’s comments about Marvel superhero movies have been well documented. Now Kevin Smith has waded in to give his take on Scorsese’s often scathing remarks when it comes to superhero movies. In 2019, Scorsese was asked his opinion about movies such as those from the Marvel and DC stables, and the director of serious movies such as The Godfather and The Wolf of Wall Street, said he felt they offered no value to the world of cinema. Smith recently commented on the opinions of Scorsese and others like him while speaking to Forbes, and expressed his belief that “old filmmakers” just shouldn’t be asked about popular modern movies. Smith said:
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“Oftentimes those directors, it seems, have been in situations, were doing junkets or an interview situation, and it’s a question that gets thrown in there, and it’s not like them going, ‘Get me the New York Times! I want to tell somebody how I feel about comic book movies.’ It’s also an adjacent to a zillion other questions that are being asked, but in our culture, in our very tribal culture, somebody like Martin Scorsese referring to comic book movies as amusement parks and theme park rides gets a bunch of people who have made comic book movies their lives for the last 10 years very unhappy.
You’re asking a guy who made Goodfellas what he thinks about [Spider-Man], what do you think you’re going to get? He’s a very serious filmmaker, and he’s a man who’s of a certain age and stuck in his ways. You should not be surprised that’s his response. For every old filmmaker who’s like, ‘I don’t get it,’ there’s a bunch of young filmmakers who are like, ‘I get it and I want to do it.’ We don’t have to ostracize the people that maybe don’t get or aren’t into the same movies we are.”
Kevin Feige Defended The MCU Long Before Scorsese’s Comments Were Made
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has come under criticism from many quarters, whether it is film critics or other filmmakers such as Scorsese or Ridley Scott, who have both shown little time for the MCU output. However, a whole two years before Martin Scorsese hit the headlines for sharing his feelings on superhero movies, Kevin Feige defended the MCU against comments that the movies were “too similar.” He said at the time:
“I think it’s just the way we make the movies. I think all the movies are relatively different. I think there’s a narrative that people like to write about because they’re all produced by the same team and they all inhabit the same fictional cinematic universe. That we look for common similarities. And I’m not saying there aren’t common similarities throughout it, but I think Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming are two totally different types of movies. They’re both fun. People both enjoy them. Is that a similarity? If so, I’ll take it. If that’s a criticism, I’ll take that, too.”
Obviously over the five years since those comments were made, Feige has shown no attempt to drastically change the MCU’s output and the movies have continued to dominate the box office around the world. With Disney+ shows now also a big part of Marvel Studios’ production schedule, it doesn’t look like comic book movies from Marvel are going anywhere soon, and with plenty to come from the DCEU too, it looks like there is going to be a lot more of cinema’s biggest hits going to be from this source for years to come.