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    James Gunn says Martin Scorsese’s anti-Marvel comments were to get press for his film The Irishman

    The Suicide Squad director James Gunn says Martin Scorsese’s anti-Marvel comments were just ‘to get press for his movie’ The Irishman










    Director James Gunn thinks Martin Scorsese’s negative statements about the dominance of Marvel movies and superhero films were only made to help his own film.

    The 55-year-old filmmaker claimed on an episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast airing on Wednesday that the 78-year-old Taxi Driver director was trying to boost interest in his most recent film The Irishman by repeatedly criticizing superhero movies.

    In a New York Times op-ed from November 2019, Scorsese objected to how superhero films and Marvel movies in particular have pushed smaller-budget films out of multiplexes, which infuriated defenders of superhero cinema on social media

    Still mad: James Gunn, 55, criticized Martin Scorsese’s anti-Marvel op-ed on Wednesday, nearly two years after it was published, on the Happy Sad Confused podcast; seen Sunday

    ‘I just think it seems awful cynical that he would keep coming out against Marvel and then that is the only thing that would get him press for his movie,’ Gunn said.

    ‘So he just kept coming out against Marvel so that he could get press for his movie. He’s creating his movie in the shadow of the Marvel films, and so he uses that to get attention for something he wasn’t getting as much attention as he wanted for it.’

    Scorsese’s critically acclaimed gangster epic The Irishman had a limited theatrical release just days before he published his op-ed, and the film arrived on Netflix later that month.

    Even though he had bone to pick with Scorsese, Gunn still praised the older director.

    Publicity: 'I just think it seems awful cynical that he would keep coming out against Marvel and then that is the only thing that would get him press for his movie,' Gunn said, referring to his 2019 film The Irishman; seen in 2019 in London

    Publicity: ‘I just think it seems awful cynical that he would keep coming out against Marvel and then that is the only thing that would get him press for his movie,’ Gunn said, referring to his 2019 film The Irishman; seen in 2019 in London

    Competitors: Despite invoking Marvel in his interview, Gunn is currently doing press for his DC Comics sequel The Suicide Squad, a follow-up to 2016's critically derided Suicide Squad; still from The Suicide Squad

    Competitors: Despite invoking Marvel in his interview, Gunn is currently doing press for his DC Comics sequel The Suicide Squad, a follow-up to 2016’s critically derided Suicide Squad; still from The Suicide Squad

    ‘He’s one of the greatest filmmakers who’s ever existed. I love his movies. I can watch his movies with no problem,’ Gunn continued. ‘And he said a lot of things I agree with. There are 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,’ he added. ‘I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve talked to film directors before they went and made a big movie, and said, “Hey, we’re in this together, let’s do something different with these big movies. Let’s make them something different than everything that has come before them.” And then see them cater to every single studio whim and be grossed out, frankly.’

    Despite invoking Marvel in his interview, Gunn is currently doing press for his DC Comics sequel The Suicide Squad, a follow-up to 2016’s critically derided Suicide Squad, which was directed by David Ayer.

    The Guardians Of The Galaxy director took the job after being temporarily fired by Marvel when a right-wing commentator complained about jokes Gunn had posted years earlier on social media.

    He’ll be back in the Marvel fold to director a third Guardians film, which is expected in 2023.

    Speaking his mind: Although Scorsese consolidated his thoughts on Marvel films and superhero fare in his op-ed, the director's previous statements on the subject to Empire Magazine and elsewhere came after interviewers brought up the topic; seen in January 2020

    Speaking his mind: Although Scorsese consolidated his thoughts on Marvel films and superhero fare in his op-ed, the director’s previous statements on the subject to Empire Magazine and elsewhere came after interviewers brought up the topic; seen in January 2020

    At it again: Following Gunn's statement, superhero fans flocked to social media to attack Scorsese, while others suggested Gunn was doing exactly what he accused the Oscar winner of doing and using Scorsese to help promote his own film; still from The Irishman

    At it again: Following Gunn’s statement, superhero fans flocked to social media to attack Scorsese, while others suggested Gunn was doing exactly what he accused the Oscar winner of doing and using Scorsese to help promote his own film; still from The Irishman

    Although Scorsese consolidated his thoughts on Marvel films and superhero fare in his op-ed, the director’s previous statements on the subject to Empire Magazine and elsewhere came after interviewers brought up the topic.

    Following Gunn’s latest statement, superhero film fans flocked to social media to attack Scorsese, while others suggested Gunn was doing exactly what he accused the Oscar winner of doing and using Scorsese to help promote his own film.

    In 2019, the Slither director mixed praise with criticism when he took Scorsese to task on Twitter for ‘judging’ his films.

    ‘Martin Scorsese is one of my 5 favorite living filmmakers. I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way,’ he began.

    Mixed feelings: In 2019, the Slither director mixed praise with criticism when he blasted Scorsese on Twitter for 'judging' his films

    Mixed feelings: In 2019, the Slither director mixed praise with criticism when he blasted Scorsese on Twitter for ‘judging’ his films

    ‘That said, I will always love Scorsese, be grateful for his contribution to cinema, and can’t wait to see The Irishman.’

    He added: ‘And I’m not saying religious zealotry is the same as not liking my movies, or in the same category. What I’m saying is I’m not fond of people judging things without actually seeing them, whether it’s a movie about Jesus or a genre.’

    Scorsese is currently at work directing Killers Of The Flower Moon for Apple TV+.

    The film, which reunites him with regular leading men Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, is based on the book of the same name, concerns a group of Osage tribe members who became wealthy in the 1920s after oil was discovered on their land.

    Many of the Osage fell victim to a series of murders committed by white people — including some of their own family members by marriage — in order to steal the oil wealth.

    The historical crime film also stars Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons and Brendan Fraser. 

     Gunn’s R-rated sequel The Suicide is playing wide starting on Thursday.

    Back at it: Scorsese is currently at work on Killers Of The Flower Moon, inspired by the murders of wealthy Osage members by white people trying to steal their oil money, which star Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio; still from The Irishman

    Back at it: Scorsese is currently at work on Killers Of The Flower Moon, inspired by the murders of wealthy Osage members by white people trying to steal their oil money, which star Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio; still from The Irishman

    Scorsese was previously criticized by Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo for his comments critical of the franchise they helped foster.

    ‘Ultimately, we define cinema as a film that can bring people together to have a shared, emotional experience,’ Joe told The Hollywood Reporter shortly after Scorsese’s op-ed while promoting the brothers’ film, 21 Bridges.

    Joe, 48, said that it’s the emotional ties to the material that helped Avengers: Endgame soar to $2.78 billion in international box office revenue earlier this year.

    Standing their ground: Avengers: Endgame filmmakers Anthony (L) and Joe Russo defended their work amid recent criticism from Martin Scorsese that the superhero films are 'not cinema'; seen in NYC in 2018

    Standing their ground: Avengers: Endgame filmmakers Anthony (L) and Joe Russo defended their work amid recent criticism from Martin Scorsese that the superhero films are ‘not cinema’; seen in NYC in 2018

    ‘When we look at the box office [of] Avengers: Endgame, we don’t see that as a signifier of financial success,’ he said, ‘we see it as a signifier of emotional success. 

    ‘It’s a movie that had an unprecedented impact on audiences around the world in the way that they shared that narrative and the way that they experienced it. And the emotions they felt watching it.’

    Anthony Russo, 49, retorted to the criticism from Scorsese in noting that it’s not his place to deem what is cinematic.

    ‘The other way to think about it, too, is nobody owns cinema,’ he said. ‘We don’t own cinema. You don’t own cinema. Scorsese doesn’t own cinema.’

    Point of view: Scorsese told the magazine Empire in October 2019 that he's not a fan of the tentpole franchise films; seen in LA in November 2019

    Point of view: Scorsese told the magazine Empire in October 2019 that he’s not a fan of the tentpole franchise films; seen in LA in November 2019

    Firing back: Anthony Russo said, 'Nobody owns cinema. We don't own cinema ... Scorsese doesn't own cinema'; seen in LA in 2018

    Firing back: Anthony Russo said, ‘Nobody owns cinema. We don’t own cinema … Scorsese doesn’t own cinema’; seen in LA in 2018 

    The Cleveland-born brothers weighed in on the remarks made by Oscar-winning director of The Departed, who told the magazine Empire last month that he’s not partial to the tentpole franchise films.

    ‘I don’t see them; I tried, you know?’ Scorsese said. ‘But that’s not cinema.’

    The director of classics such as such as Goodfellas, Cape Fear and The Wolf of Wall Street said the Marvel films aren’t ‘the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.’

    He added: ‘Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks.’

    Scorsese’s peer, Francis Ford Coppola had similar disdain for the blockbusters when speaking with reporters on the topic last month in Lyon, France at the Lumiere Festival.

    ‘Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema … he didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is,’ The Godfather director said. 

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