Martin Scorsese doesn’t seem to be changing his mind about Marvel films anytime soon.
When he compared MCU juggernauts like Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home to “theme park” attractions – frivolous, fantastical blockbusters incapable of conveying human emotion – the world-renowned filmmaker received harsh criticism. They’re not cinema, at least not in Scorsese’s opinion.
And while promoting The Irishman (2019), Martin Scorsese doubled down on his critique, claiming that Marvel Studios films – and any blockbuster cut from the same cloth – are “invading” cinemas, and called on theaters chains to “step up.”
“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.”
These remarks came during a closing-night screening of The Irishman at the BFI London Film Festival, where Scorsese compared such films to “theme parks.” But it’s not just Marvel movies that are to blame; the director also blamed movie theaters for “all being taken over” by films that are decidedly “uncinematic.”
“Theaters 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.”
It’s a bold statement from a director who was originally attached to produce Warner Bros.’ standalone Joker film, and you don’t have to look far to find a superhero film – or any major blockbuster, for that matter – enriched by character drama. Consider Thor’s heartbreaking arc in Avengers: Endgame, in which he essentially went through the five stages of grief in the aftermath of Thanos. To say otherwise would be simply ignorant.
But what do you think? Is Martin Scorsese correct in his assessment? Is The Irishman’s director out of touch when he compares Marvel films to theme parks?