Martin Scorsese is pissing off superhero movie fans again, this time for things he didn’t say. In a new GQ interview (which is behind a paywall, but you can read his relevant comments at Variety), the legendary director said, “we’ve got to save cinema” from the genre, which has dominated the art form for the past decade or so. His remedy is not only to support other kinds of movies from talented directors making interesting films but also for people to create more art themselves. Here are his comments:
“The danger there is what it’s doing to our culture… Because there are going to be generations now that think movies are only those — that’s what movies are… They already think that… Which means that we have to then fight back stronger. And it’s got to come from the grassroots level. It’s gotta come from the filmmakers themselves. And you’ll have, you know, the Safdie brothers, and you’ll have Chris Nolan, you know what I mean? And hit ’em from all sides. Hit ’em from all sides, and don’t give up. Let’s see what you got. Go out there and do it. Go reinvent. Don’t complain about it. But it’s true, because we’ve got to save cinema.”
Nowhere in there does he say people should stop seeing superhero movies, or that they shouldn’t exist (not that I think he likes them or anything). He’s just encouraging people to give other types of movies a chance and for budding filmmakers to be innovative and do something new and different. And he’s saying it at a time when it looks like people are doing just that. Superhero movies are doing poor business right now, with only Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 being successful this year (because it was good). And Scorsese mentions Christopher Nolan, whose historical drama Oppenheimer has done amazing business, actually outperforming every superhero movie this year in global box office numbers. I understand the frustration with the superhero saturation that’s been the norm of late, and I absolutely agree that people should seek out other kinds of movies. But I don’t think it’s as dire as some think. Fads come and go, and eventually, the cream rises. Still, though, Martin Scorsese is not coming for your Spider-Man films.