Martin Scorsese riled up comic book fans worldwide with his recent (and harsh) take on Marvel Cinematic Universe films. As expected, many fans wanted to hear what the Russo Brothers, longtime MCU directors, had to say. Recently, the pair broke their silence about the iconic director’s comments.
Films Unite People
While doing press for their new film 21 Bridges, the brothers were asked by The Hollywood Reporter about Scorsese’s statements. While fans expected them to become enraged, they were calm about the situation. “Ultimately, we define cinema as a film that can bring people together to have a shared, emotional experience,” Joe told the publication.
One movie standing out in the Russo Brothers’ portfolio is Avengers: Endgame. Released back in April, the film became the highest-grossing movie of all time with $2.7 billion earned. The movie concluded The Infinity Saga, which began with 2008’s Iron Man. Fans around the world felt emotional watching Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans bid farewell to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “It’s a movie that had an unprecedented impact on audiences around the world in the way that they shared that narrative and the way that they experienced it. And the emotions they felt watching it,” Joe also told The Hollywood Reporter.
Coppola Chiming In
Scorsese wasn’t the only director to speak their mind about Marvel films. Francis Ford Coppola backed the director while speaking to journalists in France. “When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he’s right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration,” he said. “I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again.”
Backing It Up A Bit
Recently, Scorsese chose to clarify his controversial statements about Marvel in a New York Times op-ed. For him, these films just don’t interest him. Things could’ve been different if he came up during a different time, though. “I know that if I were younger, if I’d come of age at a later time, I might have been excited by these pictures and maybe even wanted to make one myself. But I grew up when I did and I developed a sense of movies — of what they were and what they could be — that was as far from the Marvel universe as we on Earth are from Alpha Centauri,” he wrote in the piece.
In the op-ed, Scorsese opined that the Marvel films (and other franchises) are nothing more than something to make a quick buck. “That’s the nature of modern film franchises: market-researched, audience-tested, vetted, modified, revetted and remodified until they’re ready for consumption,” he wrote. With many films failing at the box office, studios rely on franchises to bring people into theaters. In recent years, studios have been creating more potential franchises than usual. Scorsese believes this behavior can lead to a stagnant film industry if things don’t change. “If people are given only one kind of thing and endlessly sold only one kind of thing, of course they’re going to want more of that one kind of thing,” he said in the op-ed.
Cinema Is For Everyone
To the Russo Brothers, Scorsese isn’t hurting anyone by speaking his mind. “At the end of the day, what do we know? We’re just two guys from Cleveland, Ohio, and ‘cinema’ is a New York word. In Cleveland, we call them movies,” Joe told The Hollywood Reporter. Movie fans everywhere know there’s no such thing as bad or good cinema. A film gaining so-so reviews from critics can be another person’s delight. From The Wolf of Wall Street to Avengers: Endgame, films have the power to make a change in this world.
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