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James Gunn clarifies his comments on Martin Scorsese and Marvel debate: "I disagree with him solely on one point"

James Gunn
(Image credit: Getty Images)

James Gunn has clarified his comments on the Martin Scorsese and Marvel debate.

"For the record, Martin Scorsese is probably the world's greatest living American filmmaker," Gunn wrote on Twitter. "I love & study his films & will continue to love & study his films. I disagree with him solely on one point: That films based on comic books are innately not cinema, that's all."

The Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad director recently told the Happy Sad Confused podcast that: "It just seems awful cynical that he would keep coming out against Marvel and then that's the only thing that would get him press for his movie. So then he just kept coming out against Marvel, so that he could get press for his movie. So, he's creating his movie in the shadow of the Marvel films, and so he uses that to get attention for something that he wasn't getting as much attention as he wanted for it."

Scorsese first made his comments on Marvel films not being cinema back in 2019. The Irishman was released on Netflix that year, and netted 10 Oscar nominations. 

"Many of the elements that define cinema as I know it are there in Marvel pictures," Scorsese wrote in The New York Times, expanding on his original comments. "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."

Gunn also praised Scorsese, and added that he even partially agrees with him: "There's a lot of things that are true about what he said. There are a lot of heartless, soulless, spectacle films out there that don't reflect what should be happening… A lot of what he said was good, and then also, he hasn't seen my movie, he doesn't know what my movie is, so it was irritating."

Gunn himself recently told our sister publication SFX Magazine that he's not impressed with recent superhero movies. "They're mostly boring to me right now!" he said. "I loved them at the beginning and there are still people trying to do different things [with them], so it's not a 100% rule, but a lot of them are boring."

The Suicide Squad is out now in UK cinemas, and is in theaters and streaming on HBO Max in the US. You can get up to speed on the DCEU with our guide to watching DC movies in order.  

Molly Edwards

I'm a freelance Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.