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Aquaman 2’s Jason Momoa Defends Superhero Genre Against Martin Scorsese Criticism

Jason Momoa in Aquaman

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Over the past decade of filmmaking, the comic book genre has become the most popular in the film world. And while moviegoers clamor to see every new installment in the MCU or DCEU, filmmakers like Martin Scorsese famously criticized the genre as a whole. Now Aquaman 2’s Jason Momoa has defended superhero movies, as he gears up to film his second solo flick.

Jason Momoa is super experienced with genre work, becoming a household name thanks to Game of Thrones before being cast as Arthur Curry/Aquaman in the DC Extended Universe. Given his tenure playing a larger than life character, Momoa is uniquely experienced to speak about the superhero genre. Momoa recently addressed criticism at superhero movies, saying:

It’s like how people say that music is poppy and this music cool. But you know how hard it is just to get your music out there for people to hear? It’s all subjective. I try not to pick on anything. So, yeah, superhero movies are bubble gum, but they’re like Greek mythology: They have good and evil and heartbreaking moments. And, gosh, you’re taking away other art forms if you stop making them. You’re taking away visual effects, you’re taking away what you can do with makeup. I’m not someone who gets hired to play in a lot of cinema, but by being able to do a superhero movie, I can make a movie about something I really care about. I have a vision for the whole totality of Aquaman. There are environmental issues that I get to put into it. So while you’re going, ‘Oh yeah, it’s just this popcorn movie,’ I’m like, ‘Well, I get to open people’s eyes to things that are important to me.’

Talk about a mature attitude. Because rather than saying movies like Aquaman are perfect, Jason Momoa says they make people happy and are ultimately allegorical tales. And when you add in how many people are employed by comic book blockbusters, the genre is an even more important aspect of the overall film industry.

Jason Momoa’s comments to The New York Times offer a refreshing counterpoint to the criticism lobbed at the superhero genre as a whole. Martin Scorsese famously compared the MCU to theme parks, while Francis Ford Coppolla was quoted referring to Marvel movies as “despicable.” A ton of discourse has risen online as a result, and Momoa offered a much more positive outlook.

DC fans can re-watch Jason Momoa’s time in the DCEU on HBO Max. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

The superhero genre is known for its massive budgets, with the first Aquaman movie reportedly costing around $200 million. A chunk of that comes with the bells and whistles that are required to make comic book characters come to life on the big screen. This includes special effects, makeup, costuming, and extensive CGI.

As Jason Momoa also references, he’s able to address environmental issues while working on the Aquaman movies. This is a cause close to his heart IRL, with Momoa often using his platform to encourage fans to live a greener lifestyle. So on top of being fun movies that provide escapism, the genre can also have a deeper message.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is currently set to arrive in theaters on December 16th, 2022. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.