Another day, another continuation of the ongoing conversation regarding Marvel and Martin Scorsese. This time, we have Avengers: Endgame directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo weighing in on the matter. While the filmmakers are here to defend their work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they're also not going too hard on Scorsese.
For those who may need a brief recap, this all started when Martin Scorsese, the legendary director behind Goodfellas and Taxi Driver, amongst many others, compared Marvel movies to theme park rides and said they don't qualify as "cinema." In the weeks since, debate has raged on. Now, in a recent interview, the Russo brothers put in their two cents. Joe Russo had this to say in defense of the MCU as cinema.
"When we look at the box office [of] Avengers: Endgame, we don't see that as a signifier of financial success, we see it as a signifier of emotional success. 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."
Avengers 4 went on to gross a record-breaking $2.79 billion at the global box office, overtaking James Cameron's Avatar. Cinema or not, it was indeed an unprecedented accomplishment. Speaking further, Joe explained how he and his brother define cinema.
"Ultimately, we define cinema as a film that can bring people together to have a shared, emotional experience."
That really has been the crux of this argument. Not whether or not Marvel movies are better or worse than other movies, but what qualifies, specifically, as "cinema." Is something a lesser artform because it has superheroes and big, flashy set pieces in it? Joe Russo also joked that they may not even be qualified to weigh in on the matter.
"But, 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 Russo and Anthony Russo also directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War. So they've directed four of the biggest movies of the past decade. No two ways about it. Anthony Russo offered another way to look at it, which was a bit more diplomatic.
"The other way to think about it, too, is nobody owns cinema. We don't own cinema. You don't own cinema. Scorsese doesn't own cinema."
It seems that until every single person that has ever worked on a Marvel movie has shared their thoughts on the matter, this conversation won't be going away. That said, neither will comic book movies, at least not anytime soon, given that there doesn't seem to be any sign of superhero fatigue. Regardless of what Martin Scorsese or anyone else thinks, it's what audiences want to see right now. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.