Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has opened up on filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s criticism of Marvels superhero films, saying the remarks were unfortunate.
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 conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Feige, Marvel Chief Creative Officer and the architect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, opened up about the remarks in public for the first time.
“I think that’s not true. I think it’s unfortunate,” Feige says when asked about the notion that superhero movies are a negative for cinema.
“I think myself and everyone who works on these movies loves cinema, loves movies, loves going to the movies, loves to watch a communal experience in a movie theatre full of people,” he added.
Since launching with 2008’s Iron Man, Marvel Studios has reshaped the theatrical landscape. Four of the top 10 highest-grossing films of all time come from the Disney-owned studio, including “Avengers: Endgame”, which in July surpassed “Avatar” to become the highest-grossing film of all time.
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.”
In response to Scorsese, Feige brought up more recent examples of the risks the studio has taken, saying that Marvel hasn’t made an “Iron Man” film since 2013 and instead pitted Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark against Chris Evans’ Captain America in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War”.
“We did Civil War. We had our two most popular characters get into a very serious theological and physical altercation,” Feige said, adding: “We killed half of our characters at the end of a movie (Avengers: Infinity War). I think it’s fun for us to take our success and use it to take risks and go to different places.”
Feige, who does not personally know Scorsese, notes that art is a subjective thing.
He said: “Everybody has a different definition of cinema. Everybody has a different definition of art. Everybody has a different definition of risk. Some people don’t think it’s cinema. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. Everyone is entitled to repeat that opinion. Everyone is entitled to write op-eds about that opinion, and I look forward to what will happen next. But in the meantime, we’re going to keep making movies.”