Martin Scorsese has been in the news recently, less for the release of his latest and best-reviewed film to date, The Irishman, and more for his recent disparagement of Marvel Movies, implying they do not hold up to the standard of 'true cinema'. A number of celebs attached to the MCU have already defended the films against Scorsese's negative judgment, and now Samuel L. Jackson has also weighed in on the issue during the celebratory party for the opening of Tyler Perry's new studio in Atlanta:
"That's kind of like saying Bugs Bunny ain't funny. Films are films. You know, everybody doesn't like his stuff either. I mean, we happen to, but everybody doesn't. There are a lot of Italian-Americans that don't think he should be making films about them like that. Everybody's got an opinion, so it's okay. It's not going to stop anyone from making movies."
Strong words from Nick Fury himself. But not unfair ones. It is certainly true that Scorsese has come under fire in the past for the inaccurate portrayal of Italian-Americans in his films. It is equally true that filmmaking is a subjective art, with what one person considers good films not necessarily being the standard for another.
For fans, it was the way Scorsese dismissed Marvel movies after admitting to not really having watched them in the first place that was particularly unfair. In fact, Marvel filmmaker James Gunn pointed towards how Scorsese's own film, The Last Temptation Of Christ, was once picketed by angry Christian mobs who had not actually seen the film and accused Scorsese of passing a similarly blind judgment on MCU movies now.
It is interesting that Scorsese is finding fault with the MCU at this juncture, on the heels of the release of the first film based on a comic book character that he was involved in producing: Todd Philips's Joker, which has been described by many as a modern adaptation of sorts of Scorsese's own Taxi Driver film. Clearly, it's not all comic book movies that Scorsese has a problem with. Only the MCU formula.
The pushback has been part of a growing trend amongst MCU fans to react extremely strongly whenever the integrity of Marvel films is questioned or threatened. When news of Sony removing Spider-Man from the MCU was announced, outraged fans launched a smear campaign against Sony across social media, putting so much pressure on the studio that they finally relented and allowed Spider-Man to stay within the MCU. It remains to be seen if similar measures will be meted out against Scorsese, and how they might affect the performance of The Irishman in theaters.