James Gunn Says Martin Scorsese Was Dunking On Marvel To Get “Press For His Movie”

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It’s been close to TWO YEARS since Martin Scorsese said Marvel Cinematic Universe movies weren’t real cinema and yet, somehow, we’re still talking about it. Such is the power of both the MCU and the Marty, I suppose. In case you’ve forgotten — I sure have, and hopefully, you have, too — here was ole Marty’s exact quote:

“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” Scorsese told Empire Magazine. “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.”

And you know what, Marty is right! And that’s okay. You’re allowed to agree with one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and still nerd out about Kang and the multiverse. Both things can co-exist. Two of my most anticipated films of 2022 are Killers of the Flower Moon AND Thor: Love and Thunder.

Nevertheless, the debate rages on, with The Suicide Squad director James Gunn being the latest to chime in, as he recently told MTV’s “Happy Sad Confused” podcast that — while he considers Scorsese to be “one of the greatest filmmakers who’s ever existed” and that he agrees with a lot of what he said — Marty’s comments were “cynical” and were made in an effort to get press for The Irishman.

“It just seems awfully cynical that he kept coming out against Marvel, and that’s the only thing that would get him press for his movie, so then he just kept coming out against Marvel so that he could get press for his movie,” Gunn said (via Insider). “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.”

“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.”

That’s a 4D Chess move if I’ve ever seen one: talk about Martin Scorsese talking about Marvel movies to get press for his film, to get press for your film. Galaxy brain. No wonder the guy makes such good movies.

The Suicide Squad, which we loved, hits theaters and HBO Max tonight — Thursday, August 5.

REVIEW: Raucous, Surprisingly Sincere ‘The Suicide Squad’ Is A Comic Book Come-To-Life

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Eric Italiano Avatar
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Contact him eric@brobible.com