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Kevin Smith Weighs In On Martin Scorsese’s Marvel Comments: ‘He Made the Biggest Superhero Movie Ever’

October 15, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
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Kevin Smith is the latest to weigh in on Martin Scorsese’s assessment that Marvel films aren’t cinema, and he has an interesting take. Smith, an avowed comic book fan in addition to (of course) a filmmaker with plenty of geek credibility, spoke with THR about Scorsese’s comments in which he said Marvel films aren’t cinema, and are instead “theme parks” that have turned theaters into “amusement parks.”

Highlights of Smith’s comments are below:

On Scorsese’s comments: “Martin Scorsese is a genius. But to be fair, my entire film career — even prior to my film career — he’s been pretty much saying the same thing about action movies … For my money, I think Martin Scorsese made the biggest superhero movie ever, which was The Last Temptation of Christ. Don’t get much bigger of a superhero than Jesus. He beats Superman and [Robert] Downey [Jr.] every time, so maybe Martin is bending on that territory. My feeling is, Martin Scorsese never sat in a movie theater with his dad and watched the movies of Steven Spielberg in the early ’80s or George Lucas in the late ’70s. He didn’t feel that sense of magic and wonder.”

On the value he finds in comic-based films: “I can still step into one of those comic book movies, divorce myself of that fact that I do this for a living, release, and my dead dad is back for a minute, for two hours. And it’s personal for a lot of the audience. You know, and we’re not arguing whether or not it counts as cinema.”

On Scorsese having his own films that people might argue isn’t cinema: “I guarantee you there’s something he enjoyed with his parents, like a musical — I bet you some cats would say, ‘A musical is not really cinema,’ but Martin Scorsese grew up on musicals, and I bet they mean a lot to him. These [Marvel] movies come from a core. They come from a happy childhood. And they’re reflections of a happy childhood. He’s not wrong, but at the same time, neither are we for loving those movies. And they are cinema.”