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James Gunn Says Martin Scorsese Is Only Bashing Marvel For Attention

Scorsese's now-infamous comments were made back in 2019 while the Academy Award-winning director was promoting his then-new project, The Irishman. When asked about superhero films, Scorsese replied, "I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s 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."

 Gunn believed that the comments were mostly just a way to get attention, telling Horowitz, “I just think it seems awful cynical that he would keep coming out against Marvel and then that is the only thing that would get him press for his movie. So he just kept coming out against Marvel so that he could get press for his movie. He’s creating his movie in the shadow of the Marvel films, and so he uses that to get attention for something he wasn’t getting as much attention as he wanted for it.” 

I'll also note that Gunn further clarified the remarks here. 

He also clarified

“There [are] a lot of things that are true about what he said,” Gunn continued. “There are a lot of heartless, soulless spectacle films out there that don’t reflect what should be happening. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve talked to film directors before they went and made a big movie, and said, ‘Hey, we’re in this together, let’s do something different with these big movies. Let’s make them something different than everything that has come before them.’ And then see them cater to every single studio whim and be grossed out, frankly.” 

I think there are two sides of this to look at.

First off is that I don't agree completely with Scorsese's take. I don't think Comparing them to theme parks is far off in that they are broadly built for the purpose of entertainment and making money. At the same time, I don't agree with the reductive nature of the full statement. Sure, they're for entertainment. But actors, directors, writers also pour a lot of effort and emotion and skill into this. There are big, loud dumb moments in these movies BUT There are also deeply emotional, dramatic moments that make us as an audience feel something much beyond simply a thrill. And critics feel it too! Phoenix and Ledger both won Oscars for playing a superhero movie character. 

Secondly, Gunn is out of his fucking mind if he thinks MARTIN FUCKING SCORSESE needs to shit talk Marvel to get press for his movie. That is one of the DUMBEST things I've ever heard. Scorsese is a fucking god in this industry and people would line up to watch a 2 hour movie of a man farting into the screen as long as his name was attached to it. And, ironically enough, Gunn doubling down on his comments actually drummed up press for his OWN movie that he has been on a non-stop press tour for over the last few weeks. 

By the way, let me note that The Suicide Squad is the best movie in the DCEU. It's not quite Guardians of the Galaxy, but it is really damn good. Gunn is very wrong in part of what he said, but also partially right in that there ARE good comic book movies that are made by people with a goal beyond sole entertainment and making money. Just like there really shitty mob movies out there that were made by people (not marty) who's ONLY goal was entertainment and making money. 

Btw here is a little parody poll for you