Martin Scorsese has doubled down on likening Marvel movies to theme parks – but, this time, the auteur filmmaker has added a disclaimer. At the premiere of his new movie, The Irishman, the director addressed his previous comments, adding that the superhero studio's output are "a new art form".
"Let's say a family wants to go to an amusement park, that's a good thing, you know," Scorsese told ET. "And at themes and parks there's these cinematic expressions. They're a new art form. It's something different from films that are shown normally in theaters, that's all."
"For them, my concern is losing the screens to massive theme park films, which I say again, they're [their] own new art form," Scorsese added. "Cinema now is changing. We have so many venues, there are so many ways to make films. So enjoyable. Fine, go and it's an event and it's great to go to an event like an amusement park, but don't crowd out Greta Gerwig and don't crowd out Paul Thomas Anderson and Noah Baumbach and those people, just don't, in terms of theaters."
Since Scorsese initially criticised Marvel movies for being "not cinema" and "like theme parks", various other directors have publicly criticised the studio. Francis Ford Coppola, best known for Apocalypse Now and The Godfather, called them "despicable", while British filmmaker Ken Loach said they were "boring" and "cynical". Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn took the comments to heart, writing: "Not everyone will be able to appreciate them, even some geniuses."
Scorsese's The Irishman is being released by Netflix, which itself was once seen as a controversial method of releasing movies. However, the streaming service's willingness to fund movies that are not necessarily as commercially viable as Marvel blockbusters – plus their insistence on putting certain movies in theaters for a month before going online – has won over many directors, including Baumbach, whose next movie, Marriage Story, is being released by Netflix.
Meanwhile, Marvel are moving ahead undeterred with their release schedule. Check out the packed Marvel Phase 4 line-up.