Martin Scorsese Says Marvel Films Are 'Not Cinema' as Joss Whedon and James Gunn Respond

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn tweeted he was "saddened" by Martin Scorsese's response to superhero films

Martin Scorsese isn’t going to direct a Marvel film anytime soon.

The 76-year-old Oscar winner behind classics like Raging Bull and Taxi Driver is getting honest about his opinion of Marvel’s record-breaking comic book films in an interview with Empire via The Guardian.

“I tried, you know?” Scorsese said of attempting to watch a superhero film released by the studio. “But that’s not cinema.”

The Irishman director continued, “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,” Scorsese said.

Martin Scorsese Kevin Feige
Martin Scorsese; Kevin Feige. George Pimentel/Getty; MediaPunch

His opinion on the blockbuster studio and its films drew the ire of some other well-known Marvel filmmakers such as Joss Whedon, who directed 2012’s The Avengers and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and James Gunn, the director and writer behind the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.

“It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.” I first think of @JamesGunn,” Whedon, 55, tweeted. “How his heart & guts are packed into GOTG. I revere Marty, & I do see his point, but… Well there’s a reason why “I’m always angry”.”

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Gunn, 53, tweeted he was “saddened” by Scorsese’s response to superhero films, writing, “Martin Scorsese is one of my 5 favorite 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.”

He added, “That said, I will always love Scorsese, be grateful for his contribution to cinema, and can’t wait to see The Irishman.”

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige defended the films he’s produced so far under the company at the Produced By conference in June 2018.

“Maybe it’s easy to dismiss VFX or flying people or spaceships or billion-dollar grosses,” Feige said. “I think it is easy to say that you have already been awarded in a certain way.”

He continued, “[Alfred] Hitchcock never won [the Best Director Oscar], so it’s very nice [getting an award], but it doesn’t mean everything. I would much rather be in a room full of engaged fans.”

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