It's no secret that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a behemoth presence in the film world. The franchise has been going on for over a decade, and every single installment in Phase Three was a box office and critical success. But the MCU has been the subject of some controversy lately, as prolific filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese have criticized the genre's place in the world of cinema. And now Studio head Kevin Feige has finally broken his silence on the matter.
Kevin Feige is the architect of the MCU, producing every new installment and helping to oversee the production, filming, and overall story of the massive shared universe. He's helped do the impossible with at Marvel Studios, which has made a ton of money at the box office as a result. But Martin Scorsese has maintained that superhero movies like Marvel's aren't really cinema. Now Feige has responded saying:
I think that's not true. I think it's unfortunate. I think myself and everyone who works on these movies loves cinema, loves movies, loves going to the movies, loves to watch a communal experience in a movie theater full of people.
Well, that seems pretty cut and dry. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has entertained masses of moviegoers throughout the last decade and change of releases. So debating its cinematic quality seems odd, as the sheer amount of fan adoration and ticket sales show how it was able to transport moviegoers into another world. As such, Kevin Feige doesn't believe Martin Scorsese's comments are accurate.
Kevin Feige's comments to THR show how the celebrated producer's side of the argument. Martin Scorsese's comments about the superhero genre quickly broke the internet, and the conversation hasn't really slowed since. Obviously the hardcore Marvel fans took umbrage with his dismissal of the genre, and social media quickly blew up in response.
But the fans weren't the only ones standing up for the superhero genre, and specifically the MCU. Directors like James Gunn and actors like Mark Ruffalo have all expressed their issues with the idea that superhero movies "aren't cinema". And while continuing to promote his highly anticipated drama The Irishman, Martin Scorsese has fielded all sorts of follow-up questions. Most recently, he penned an entire letter about the situation for The New York Times.
Comic book movies' place in the greater film industry has been changing over the last few years. The last decade of filmmaking have allowed the genre to continue elevating itself quality-wise and we've seen even the Academy Awards give attention to projects like Logan and Black Panther.
It'll be fascinating to see how this year's Awards Season does or does not honor the comic book genre-- especially in the wake of this controversy. Avengers: Endgame has submitted itself for a bunch of the major awards, so we'll have to see if the various academies chose to recognize the blockbuster's achievement in cinema. Also, Todd Phillips' Joker has already become an awards favorite.