Joe and Anthony Russo, the directorial duo behind multiple multiple films set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- most recently Avengers: Endgame -- have offered their thoughts on comments made by Martin Scorsese. The legendary director recently criticised the superhero films made by Marvel Studios, declaring them to be "not cinema."
The Russo Brothers offered their thoughts on the matter while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter regarding director Brian Kirk's 21 Bridges -- which they produce alongside Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman's (21 Bridges' lead). "Ultimately, we define cinema as a film that can bring people together to have a shared, emotional experience," said Joe.
From there, Joe commented on Endgame's $2.78 billion box office haul. "When we look at the box office [of] Avengers: Endgame, we don't see that as a signifier of financial success, we see it as a signifier of emotional success," he said. "It's a movie that had an unprecedented impact on audiences around the world in the way that they shared that narrative and the way that they experienced it. And the emotions they felt watching it.
"But at the end of the day, what do we know?" Joe continued. "We're just two guys from Cleveland, Ohio, and 'cinema' is a New York word. In Cleveland, we call them movies."
It was at this point the elder Russo brother added his own thoughts. "The other way to think about it, too, is nobody owns cinema," said Anthony. "We don't own cinema. You don't own cinema. Scorsese doesn't own cinema."
The Russo Brothers made their directorial debut for Marvel Studios in 2014, helming Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The duo subsequently returned to direct 2016's Captain America: Civil War, 2018's Avengers: Infinity War and this year's Endgame.
Following Scorsese's comments -- in which he compared Marvel films to theme parks -- numerous people with ties to either Marvel Studios or superhero cinema as a whole have chimed in on the matter. Scorsese eventually doubled down on his stance, with Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola evidently sharing the sentiment. Scorsese eventually walked back his comments slightly, before further elaborating on them in a New York Times op-ed.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos. The film is available on Digital HD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD.