Martin Scorsese’s latest comments on “theme park” Marvel movies and how they have “invaded” theaters are bound to be misinterpreted as an attack on Marvel. So we’d encourage you to watch the director’s full comments in the video above.
Tweet-length summaries of Scorsese’s remarks this weekend at the BFI London Film Festival are bound to miss the nuance of his remarks. Scorsese wasn’t so much attacking Marvel as defending the “communal experience” of watching films in theaters, while noting that “homes are becoming theaters, too.”
Scorsese expressed worry that some films will be crowded out of theaters if theater owners fail to make balanced choices about what to screen.
“What’s got to be protected is the singular experience of experiencing a picture, ideally with an audience. But there’s room for so many others now,” Scorsese said.
Scorsese then discussed “the value of a film that’s like a theme-park film for example, the Marvel-type pictures where the theaters become amusement parks, that’s a different experience.”
“It’s not cinema, it’s something else,” Scorsese said. “Whether you go for that or not. But it is something else, and we shouldn’t be invaded by it. And so that’s a big issue, that’s a big issue, and we need the theater owners to step up for that, you see, to allow theaters to show pictures that are narrative films.”
The entire clip is worth watching. In it, Scorsese speaks about the tradeoffs involved in making his film with Netflix, and how holograms and other technology will become a part of moviemaking. He spoke at a news conference for The Irishman while sitting alongside stars Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.
Scorsese previously set off Marvel fans’ Spidey sense when he told Empire magazine that Marvel films are “not cinema.”
“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,” he told Empire.
The new Warner Bros. hit Joker, meanwhile, based on the DC Comics villain, draws heavily from the Scorsese films Taxi Driver and King of Comedy.
Marvel’s owner, Disney, capped the week by releasing a new trailer for “Disney’s Jungle Cruise,” a film based on a theme-park ride.