Director James Gunn implies Martin Scorsese criticized Marvel movies because it's 'the only thing that would get him press' for 'The Irishman'

·3 min read
James Gunn and Martin Scorsese side-by-side
(L-R) James Gunn and Martin Scorsese. Getty
  • James Gunn weighed in on Martin Scorsese's 2019 comments that Marvel movies are "not cinema."

  • "That is the only thing that would get him press for his movie," Gunn said.

  • Gunn, who directed DC's "The Suicide Squad," also directs Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

James Gunn, who is behind Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" films as well as DC's upcoming "The Suicide Squad" movie, is never shy about offering his opinion. And that includes giving his take on Martin Scorsese's past comments about the MCU.

In a recent interview with the "Happy. Sad. Confused." podcast, Gunn commented on the polarizing quote Scorsese gave while promoting "The Irishman," where he said that Marvel movies are "not cinema."

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"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 to host Josh Horowitz. "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."

However, Gunn added that Scorsese is "one of the greatest filmmakers who's ever existed" and that he agreed with some of what the legendary Oscar winner was pointing out.

"There are a lot of heartless, soulless, spectacle films out there that don't reflect what should be happening," Gunn said. "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."

guardians of the galaxy
"Guardians of the Galaxy." Marvel Studios

Gunn has been praised for making his "Guardians" movies with a little more edge than the rest of the movies released by Marvel Studios.

In 2019, Scorsese told Empire Magazine that though he's tried to watch Marvel movies, they aren't for him.

"I tried, you know? But that's not cinema," he said. "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. It isn't the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being."

Scorsese's comments have since led to lots of debate online between cinephiles and comic-book superfans over whether Marvel movies are cinematic.

Gunn's comments will certainly reignite that debate.

In fact, following the reaction to Gunn's Scorsese comments he tweeted this on Wednesday:

-James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 4, 2021

Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy 3," which Gunn directed, will be out in May 2023.

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