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26th Sep 2023

Martin Scorsese says we need to ‘save cinema’ from superhero movies and sequels

Charlie Herbert

Martin Scorsese says we need to ‘save cinema’ from superhero movies and sequels

Scorsese has said there needs to be a ‘fightback’ against franchises and comic book films

Martin Scorsese has once again taken aim at superhero movies, whilst also criticising the constant stream of sequels coming out of Hollywood.

It’s probably safe to say that, when looking at the history of cinema, the 2020s will go down as the decade of Marvel.

From Iron Man in 2008, all the way through to Avengers: Endgame in 2019, more than 20 films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) were released.

And whilst they generated billions of dollars at the box office, not everyone was a fan – including Martin Scorsese.

At the end of 2019, the legendary director voiced his dislike for superhero movies in general, saying they were “not cinema” and comparing them to the cinematic equivalent of “theme parks.”

And it doesn’t seem like his opinion of them has improved since then. Scorsese said that the genre, along with Hollywood’s seeming obsession with sequels and franchises, poses a “danger” to “our culture.”

In an interview with GQ, Scorsese said: “The danger there is what it’s doing to our culture.

“Because there are going to be generations now that think movies are only those—that’s what movies are.”

Martin Scorsese said superhero movies – such as Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame – and franchises posed a ‘danger’ to our culture (Disney/Marvel)

When the interviewer suggested that a lot of people probably already think this, the 80-year-old – whose films include as Taxi Driver, Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street – said filmmakers have to “fight back” against this .

He continued: “We have to then fight back stronger. And it’s got to come from the grassroots level. It’s gotta come from the filmmakers themselves.

“And you’ll have, you know, the Safdie brothers, and you’ll have Chris Nolan, you know what I mean?

“And hit ’em from all sides. Hit ’em from all sides, and don’t give up. Let’s see what you got. Go out there and do it. Go reinvent.

“Don’t complain about it. But it’s true, because we’ve got to save cinema.”

Scorsese probably won’t be particularly enthused then by the news that Mattel plans to create its own cinematic universe, following the success of Barbie.

And it would be interesting to hear his thoughts on the Dark Knight trilogy, which was of course directed by Christopher Nolan, and is considered to be one of the best film series of all time, despite being in the superhero genre.

But if this ‘fightback’ that Scorsese is calling for does take place, then that can only be a good thing if it means we’ll be treated to more films like Oppenheimer.

As for Scorsese himself, he’s got his own project coming out in the coming weeks, in the form of Killers of the Flower Moon.

And there is one superhero franchise that the director has admitted to liking – Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy featuring Tobery Maguire.

Related links:

Martin Scorsese says Adam Driver is the best actor of his generation

Release date revealed for Scorsese epic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro

Hercules star Kevin Sorbo complains Hollywood men aren’t ‘manly’ anymore