Martin Scorsese doubles down on Marvel comments, saying 'cinemas need to step up'

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Martin Scorsese (Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Martin Scorsese is not backtracking on his views on the Marvel movies.

The Goodfellas director was been busy stoking controversy over the multibillion-dollar franchise after referring to them as “not cinema” in a recent interview with Empire magazine.

In his latest comments, made at the BFI London Film Festival on Sunday, he said (via The Hollywood Reporter): “It's not cinema, it’s something else.

“We shouldn’t be invaded by it. We need cinemas to step up and show films that are narrative films.”

Read more: Samuel L Jackson on Scorsese’s Marvel comments

The previous evening, while delivering the David Lean lecture for Bafta, he said: “Theatres have become amusement parks. That is all fine and good but don’t invade everything else in that sense.

“That is fine and good for those who enjoy that type of film and, by the way, knowing what goes into them now, I admire what they do. It’s not my kind of thing, it simply is not.

“It’s creating another kind of audience that thinks cinema is that.”

Avengers: Endgame (Marvel)

His original comments on the issue came in an interview with Empire for his new movie for Netflix, the ambitious mob epic The Irishman.

“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” he said. “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.”

Read more: Marvel directors react to Scorsese comments

The interview did not gone down spectacularly well with many of those who have made their livings off the franchise.

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn said: “Martin Scorsese is one of my 5 favourite living filmmakers. I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way.”

Meanwhile, Samuel L Jackson, aka Nick Fury, told Variety: “Films are films. You know, everybody doesn’t like his stuff either. I mean, we happen to, but everybody doesn’t.

“There are a lot of Italian-Americans that don’t think he should be making films about them like that. Everybody’s got an opinion, so it’s okay. It’s not going to stop anyone from making movies.”

The Irishman will be streaming on Netflix from 27 November.