Quentin Tarantino caused movie fans everywhere to debate decades of filmmaking last week when he claimed the 50s and the 80s, and now, were the worst periods for movies. Now he has joined the ranks of Martin Scorsese in openly critiquing Marvel movies. Scorsese called Marvel products “theme parks” and said they were “not cinema”.

Scorsese

Tarantino went down a similar route in an interview with Tom Segura for the 2 Bears 1 Cave podcast. Tarantino spoke about his love of comics and revealed himself to be a Marvel collector when he was a kid. Talking about the movies he said:

“I don’t hate them. But I don’t love them.”

He said he is sure he would love them if he was in his 20s, but as he approaches his 60s he is less into them. Then he said something that has caused something of a backlash:

“My only axe to grind is they’re the only things that seem to be made, and they’re the only things that seem to generate any kind of excitement amongst a fan base or even for the studio making them… So it’s just the fact that they are the entire representation of this era of movies right now. There’s not really much room for anything else. That’s my problem. It’s a problem of representation.

Part of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood is you have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters. But they’re not movie stars. Right? Captain America is the star. Thor is the star. I’m not the first person to say that. I think that’s been said a zillion times, but it’s these franchise characters become a star.

Back in 2005, if an actor stars in a movie that does as good as the Marvel movies do, then that guy’s an absolute star. It means people dig him or her and they like them and want to see them in stuff. Sandra Bullock is in Speed and everyone thought she’s amazing in it. Everyone fell in love with her… They were excited by Sandra Bullock and wanted to see her in something else. That’s not the case now. We want to see that guy [keep] playing Wolverine or whatever.

So Tarantino says the actors are the characters, and they are not movie stars. It was picked up by Deadpool creator Robert Liefeld who retweeted it… and from there things have got a little out of hand.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu was one who retaliated:

“If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to lead a $400 million+ movie. I am in awe of their filmmaking genius. They are transcendent auteurs.

But they don’t get to point their nose at me or anyone. No movie studio is or ever will be perfect. But I’m proud to work with one that has made sustained efforts to improve diversity onscreen by creating heroes that empower and inspire people of all communities everywhere. I loved the ‘Golden Age’ too.. but it was white as hell.”

Race card deployed! James Gunn has also previously clashed with auteur’s who speak ill of modern blockbusters. Other commentators are chiming in as an online ding-dong brews up.

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