Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese rankled fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after referring to the movies as "theme parks" that don't count as cinema. Since his initial comments, several noted actors who are intrinsically linked to the MCU responded to Scorsese's words, including Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson and Jon Favreau. Scorsese now appears aware of the backlash, as he walks back his incendiary comments in a recent interview.
"The tentpole films, the big comic book films, they're theme park movies — as well done as many of them are, at all levels," Scorsese told Entertainment Weekly. "It's a different cinema form or a new art form entirely. We're hoping there are theaters that show the films that are not that. And that if they're not going to show it that filmmakers still have an opportunity with streaming — it changes the experience, but otherwise, in two to three years now, it's not being done. A good filmmaker comes in from Italy or France comes in, the film has to be a [franchise] or they won't do it anymore."
Scorsese was met with much criticism from those involved in the making of not just Marvel movies but movies and television series based on comics or graphic novels. In the days following his criticisms, Guardians of the Galaxy writer and director James Gunn tweeted that he was "saddened" by the comments from one of his most beloved filmmakers, while Nebula actor Karen Gillan backed up Marvel films as cinema, pointing directly to Gunn's films within the MCU and how personal they've been to him.
Scorsese's latest film, The Irishman, arrives on Netflix Nov. 27 following a limited theatrical release beginning Nov. 1. The film is based on a memoir entitled I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt and stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.