Marvel boss Kevin Feige comments on Martin Scorsese’s criticism of MCU, says it’s unfortunate
Everyone has a different definition of cinema and risk, believes Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who finally broke his silence on legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese's criticism of Marvel’s superhero films.
Feige, who called the multiple Oscar-winning director's comments on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films "unfortunate", said superhero films couldn't be compared to a "theme park experience".
"I think that's not true. I think it's unfortunate," Feige said during The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast when asked about the notion that superhero movies are a negative for cinema. "I think myself and everyone who works on these movies loves cinema, loves movies, loves going to the movies, loves to watch a communal experience in a movie theatre full of people," he added.
In early October, Scorsese raked up a storm after he branded the MCU films "not cinema", with the debate dividing the industry into 'Marvel versus others' and, the filmmaker drawing ire of fans and disappointment of Marvel talent. In an attempt to settle the matter, Scorsese elaborated his "theme park experience" remarks in an October 4 op-ed of the New York Times, saying while the superhero films were made by people of considerable talent and artistry, there is an absence of "revelation, mystery or genuine emotional danger" in them. "Nothing is at risk. The pictures are made to satisfy a specific set of demands, and they are designed as variations on a finite number of themes...
"That's the nature of modern film franchises: market-researched, audience-tested, vetted, modified, revetted and remodified until they're ready for consumption," the veteran wrote.
But Feige has often said the studio seeks to make different types of films: 2015's Ant-Man was billed a heist film and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) a political thriller. In his response to Scorsese on the "risk" factor, Feige posited more recent examples of the risks the studio has taken.
"We did Civil War. We had our two most popular characters (Iron Man and Captain America) get into a very serious theological and physical altercation. We killed half of our characters at the end of a movie (Avengers: Infinity War). I think it's fun for us to take our success and use it to take risks and go in different places," he argued.
In the end, Feige noted, art is a subjective concept. "Everybody has a different definition of cinema. Everybody has a different definition of art. Everybody has a different definition of risk. Some people don't think it's cinema. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. Everyone is entitled to repeat that opinion. Everyone is entitled to write op-eds about that opinion, and I look forward to what will happen next. But in the meantime, we're going to keep making movies," he said.
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