The Marvel Cinematic Universe began in 2008 with the release of Iron Man and has since released 27 films, 12 of which star Samuel L.Jackson as SHIELD agent Nick Fury. The movies have cornered the market and earned themselves a truly impressive fanbase always anticipating their next project and enjoying anything new arriving from MCU.
These movies do, however, receive harsh criticism from some Hollywood household names, including A-list filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. Both of them consider superhero films prototypical, unartistic, with Coppola even calling them “theme park rides”. Roland Emmerich also agrees, sharing his compassion with many directors struggling to find an audience for their work, since it became virtually impossible to convince a studio to make a big- budget film, unless it is a superhero one.
While promoting Dune, director Denis Villeneuve was asked about the issue too and he thinks that “perhaps the problem is that we are in front of too many Marvel movies that are nothing more than a cut-and-paste of others,” adding “perhaps these types of movies have turned us into zombies a bit.“
Jackson, who has worked both on MCU franchise and “auteur cinema”, has recently shared his own view on the superhero genre and the negative comments surrounding it. Jackson acknowledged that while some people go to cinema “to be moved dearly”, others simply like superheroes, but both kinds of movies are “valid” and no genre is inherently better than the other.
“All movies are valid. Some go to the cinema to be moved dearly. Some like superheroes. If somebody has more butts on seats it just means your audience is not as broad. There are people who have had successful careers but nobody can recite one line of their parts. I’m the guy who says s*** that’s on a T-shirt.”
While it is clear why some filmmakers dislike superhero movies and they do seem to have a monopoly over film industry, they are successful for a reason. If they didn’t have anything to offer, they wouldn’t be so loved by so many and there wouldn’t be a need to keep producing them. As Marvel Head Kevin Feige said: “Everyone is entitled to write op-eds about their opinion. And I look forward to what will happen next. But in the meantime, we’re going to keep making movies.”