After making a dig at Marvel films early this month by saying he and his fellow filmmakers can’t wait for the superhero trend to fade away like the musical films in the 1960s, Quentin Tarantino delivers another hot take. The director, who is on a press tour promoting his new book, Cinema Speculation, is giving his opinion on the state of cinema, and the superhero genre conversation cannot be avoided.
“Part of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood is… you have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters. But they’re not movie stars. Right?” Tarantino asks. “Captain America is the star. Or Thor is the star. I mean, I’m not the first person to say that. I think that’s been said a zillion times.”
'Avengers: Endgame'Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Tarantino’s criticism might sound like an attack on the actors in the MCU, but it’s more of a criticism of the MCU’s lack of focus and deliberate attention to the power of their cast. The superhero genre, namely Marvel and DC, have tirelessly focused their efforts on creating an expansive universe. While what they were able to accomplish is amazing, there is this lingering effect that has tied the actors to these characters, and it is hard to see them as anyone or anything else.
Few actors from the MCU have been able to establish a movie star-like quality, like Chris Evans, Chris Pratt, and Tom Holland, but the others are stuck. But, as Martin Scorsese said back in 2019, the MCU is "not cinema, it’s something else,” and, "We shouldn’t be invaded by it. We need cinemas to step up and show films that are narrative films.”
The superhero problem in Hollywood is slowly getting worse. Eventually, it won’t be able to sustain itself without reinventing itself, which is something the MCU probably won’t do since they trust their family-friendly formula so deeply.
Although Tarantino doesn’t have any strong feelings toward the Marvel movies like Scorsese or Ridley Scott, stating that he doesn’t hate them or love them, he feels that Hollywood is stuck in a creative rut that it can’t and doesn’t seem to want to escape.
“There’s an aspect that if these movies were coming out when I was in my twenties, I would totally be fucking happy and totally love them,” Tarantino said. “I mean, they wouldn’t be the only movies being made. They would be those movies amongst other movies. But, you know, I’m almost 60, so yeah. No, I’m not quite as excited about them.”
This isn't the first time Tarantino has brought this up.
“I don’t want to become this old man who’s out of touch,” Tarantino revealed in another interview with Chris Wallace. “When already, I’m feeling a bit like an old man who’s out of touch with the current movies that are out right now. And that’s what happens, that’s exactly what happens.”
Is Tarantino out of touch with the current movie culture? It’s hard to say when only a few years ago, he was one of the filmmakers leading the culture.
Let us know what you think in the comments!