Actors Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson have opened up about the ongoing debate over the Marvel brand of superhero films, which started after Hollywood auteur Martin Scorsese criticized the genre saying these films shouldn't be considered as cinema. Although Evans and Johansson did not mention Scorsese's name, they alluded to the filmmaker's recent argument saying that such notions were old-fashioned, disappointing and sad.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Evans plays Captain America and Johansson is seen as Black Widow. "It's interesting because a couple of people in the past couple of days have mentioned to me that a couple of extremely esteemed directors have been really vocal about how the whole Marvel universe and big blockbusters are really like 'despicable' and 'the death of cinema'. At first, I thought that seems kind of old-fashioned, and somebody had to explain to me, because it seemed so disappointing and sad in a way," variety.com quoted Johansson as saying.
"They said, 'I think what these people are saying is that at the actual theatre, there's not a lot of room for different kinds of movies, or smaller movies, because the theatre is taken up by huge blockbusters'. It made me think about how people consume content now, and how there's been this huge sea change with their viewing experience," added the actress, who will soon be seen in standalone Black Widow film. To this, Evans added, "I think original content inspires creative content. I think new stuff is what keeps the creative wheel rolling. I just believe there's room at the table for all of it. It's like saying a certain type of music isn't music. Who are you to say that?"
Evans and Johansson starred together in Avengers: Endgame, which has become the highest-grossing movie of all time. "We've been trying to organize this Avengers vacation," Evans said, adding, "We deserve a little victory lap. It's not just wonderful because you get to be a part of a pop culture phenomenon, the same way Star Wars impacted me. But I think what really will stay with me is the fact that the people we got to work with, truly there is not a bad apple in the bunch."
Last month, Scorsese spoke with Empire magazine about his views towards the Marvel movies, expressing that he regards them as "not cinema" and likens them to "theme parks". Since his initial remarks, Scorsese repeated the "theme parks" analogy at the BFI London Film Festival. In a New York Times op-ed, Scorsese went back to his comments, and added, "What's not there is revelation, mystery or genuine emotional danger. Nothing is at risk. The pictures are made to satisfy a specific set of demands, and they are designed as variations on a finite number of themes." Other veteran filmmakers who have criticized the Marvel brand of cinema are Francis Ford Coppola and Ken Loach.