Robert Downey Jr. responds to Scorsese saying Marvel movies are not cinema: ‘It is to me’
Robert Downey Jr. is the latest star to offer his perspective after Martin Scorsese remarks that Marvel movies are “not cinema”. The ace filmmaker has been under fire for comparing the superhero films made by Marvel to “theme parks”, saying that they don’t capture the true essence of cinema.
Following in the footsteps of actor Samuel L. Jackson and Marvel filmmakers James Gunn and Joss Whedon, Downey Jr. has broken his silence on the matter, reported Entertainment Weekly.
Downey Jr. responded to Scorsese’s comments during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show. Stern started by referencing the “huge moneymaker” and asked Downey Jr. if he “still enjoys doing it.”
The Iron Man star responded, “I’ll tell you the truth: I didn’t expect it to become what it became, and it is this very large, multiheaded Hydra at this point.”
The Oscar nominee then challenged the legendary filmmaker’s statement. “I’ve always had other interests, and according to Scorsese, it’s not cinema. I gotta take a look at that, ya know?” he said.
Stern said, “But it is cinema isn’t it?” to which Downey Jr. said, “Well, it plays in theatres.” Stern asked, “But what did he mean by that?”
“I appreciate his opinion because I think it’s like anything -- we need all of the different perspectives, so we can come to the centre and move on,” Downey Jr. said, as Stern attempted and failed to talk over him. “You know this -- you’re in therapy! You’re therapized!”
“Were you insulted?” Stern asked. “I mean, it is cinema to me.” Downey Jr. struggled a bit to find his words, “It is, it, it would be like saying Howard Stern isn’t radio. It makes no sense to say it.”
“Was he jealous of the success?” Stern asked to which the actor said, “Of course not. He’s Martin Scorsese.” Stern asked, “Then what did he mean by that?”
“In his view -- and by the way, there’s a lot to be said for how these genre movies, and I was happy to be part of the problem if there is one -- denigrated the art form of cinema,” Downey Jr. said. “When you come in like a stomping beast and you eliminate the competition in such a demonstrative way, it’s phenomenal,” he added.
That’s when Stern suggested Scorsese might indeed be jealous. “Do you actually think Martin Scorsese is upset about Marvel movies?” Downey Jr. said. Recently, Samuel L. Jackson also commented on the matter.
“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,” Jackson said.
Marvel directors James Gunn and Joss Whedon also defended Marvel movies in the wake of the famed director’s comments.
Scorsese gave an interview to Empire magazine, in which the legendary filmmaker likened the superhero films to theme parks.
On being asked if he has watched the films, the director said, “I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema.”
“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,” he added.
Many celebrities have criticised Marvel films in the past too including director James Cameron and HBO’s late-night host Bill Maher.
Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame became the highest-grossing film in history this summer, minting more than USD 2.8 billion at the global box office.
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