Academy Award winner Martin Scorsese recently created an upheaval in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by passing a few comments that riled every Marvel fan, cast, and crew member. For those living under a rock, Scorsese voiced his opinion of the MCU films, saying that the movies couldn't capture the true essence of art in cinema and that they're purely theme-park kind of films. Many have disagreed with the legendary director, retorting with their own viewpoints on the subject. Joining them now are three of the most important cast members from the Avengers franchise, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, and Chadwick Boseman. The trio recently addressed the Martin Scorsese-Marvel controversy.
While Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Chris Evans (Captain America) didn't name the legendary filmmaker as they weighed in on his comments that superhero films were "theme park experiences" and "not cinema", but the Black Panther star, Chadwick Boseman, was more direct and questioned the timing of The Irishman Director's remarks ahead of Oscars season.
Talking about the controversy, Johannson initially said that she thought it was "old-fashioned" to believe that Marvel, the studio that churns out major money-spinners in Hollywood, could spell the "death of cinema". "It's interesting because a couple of people in the past couple of days have mentioned to me that a couple of extremely esteemed directors have been really vocal about how the whole Marvel universe and big blockbusters are really, like, "despicable" and "the death of cinema." At first, I thought that seems kind of old-fashioned, and somebody had to explain it to me because it seemed so disappointing and sad in a way," she told Evans in Variety's Actors on Actors segment.
Later on, Scarlett added that she was told that perhaps the debate was about studio tentpoles eating up the share of smaller films. The whole thing made her ponder over the consumption pattern of content.
"They said, 'I think what these people are saying is that at the actual theater, there's not a lot of room for different kinds of movies, or smaller movies, because the theater is taken up by huge blockbusters'," Johannson added.
"It made me think about how people consume content now, and how there's been this huge sea change with their viewing experience," she further said. But Evans said there was room for all kinds of cinema and no one had the authority over what qualified as art.
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"I think original content inspires creative content. I think the new stuff is what keeps the creative wheel rolling. I just believe there's room at the table for all of it. It's like saying a certain type of music isn't music. Who are you to say that?" he quizzed.
In an interview with BBC 5 Live, Boseman said that the Oscar-winning director was "possibly campaigning" for an award for his OTT platform gangster drama film. Since the film is a major digital release, it saw a limited release in the theaters. Boseman also said he had to "respect" the Director's opinion on Marvel films because he's "a genius at what he does."
"You've got to think about when he's saying it. He's saying it when he's possibly campaigning for an award. He's saying it at a time when he's making a Netflix movie, so that's how eyes get on his film, and it's not going to be in the cinemas - it's not going to be seen the best way," Boseman said.
Almost a month after sparking the debate, Scorsese, in an attempt to settle the matter, elaborated on his remarks in an October 4 op-ed of the New York Times, saying while superhero films were made by people of considerable talent and artistry, there is an absence of "revelation, mystery or genuine emotional danger" in them.
Boseman countered Scorsese, saying the director wouldn't have said the MCU films lacked "mystery" had he seen Black Panther.
Black Panther, the first Marvel film to be led by a person of colour (Boseman), was directed by Ryan Coogler and went on become a cultural phenomenon owing to its rich, sensitive portrayal of the African heritage and meaty roles for women characters. The film featured almost an all-African-American cast, including, Chadwick, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, and Letitia Wright, among others. Boseman went on to say that he feels very secure in what he did (Black Panther) and that the Director's comments on the MCU didn't bother him.
With Inputs from PTI.
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