Martin Scorsese may regret that time when he said that Marvel movies were “not cinema” and more like amusement parks … assuming he cares. Which is a lot to assume. While the director shared his problem with this type of cinema more than two years ago, it stung so badly that since then practically not a month has passed without some celebrity in the industry positioning themselves for or against it. Since the director of The Irishman hasn’t spoken of the matter again, the controversy has become a recurring subject, triggered by journalists eager to get headlines after asking the Big Question.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is the latest Marvel Studios blockbuster (in association with Sony Pictures), and it’s making box office numbers so big that take us back to the days before the COVID-19 crisis. Producers and fans can be satisfied, but during a interview with Tom Holland for The Hollywood Reporter the subject came up again, and the defensive statements from the Peter Parker actor have traveled the web. Holland, in a tone similar to that of James Gunn when The Suicide Squad was released a few months ago, doesn’t hide that the veteran filmmaker’s words hurt him, and uses his experience to refute them.
“You can ask Scorsese ‘Would you want to make a Marvel movie?’ But he doesn’t know what it’s like because he’s never made one,” Holland states. “I’ve made Marvel movies and I’ve also made movies that have been in the conversation in the world of the Oscars, and the only difference, really, is one is much more expensive than the other. But the way I break down the character, the way the director etches out the arc of the story and characters — it’s all the same, just done on a different scale. So I do think they’re real art.” With “in the world of the Oscars” he may be referring to The Impossible (the film that discovered him, and had a good run at the 2012 awards season) and, more recently, The Devil All the Time and Cherry.
None of these two were recognized by the Academy, but they adhered to the adult drama Scorsese is famous for, and that distanced Holland from Marvel. “When you’re making these films, you know that good or bad, millions of people will see them, whereas when you’re making a small indie film, if it’s not very good no one will watch it,” he continues. “So it comes with different levels of pressure. I mean, you can also ask Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr. or Scarlett Johansson — people who have made the kinds of movies that are ‘Oscar-worthy’ and also made superhero movies — and they will tell you that they’re the same.”
And that’s it for now. Now we have to wait for the next Marvel movie release (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, on May 6, 2022) for the controversy to resume, perhaps at the hands of the same Cumberbatch Holland mentions, and that appear so much in No Way Home as in the sequel to Doctor Strange.