Much like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino has made no bones of the fact that he is depressed by today’s superhero movie dominated landscape. In a new interview with Glenn Whipp of The Los Angeles Times, Tarantino compares superhero movies to musicals in the 1960s.
Just as 60s anti-establishment auteurs rejoiced when studio musical adaptations fell out of favour, today’s filmmakers “can’t wait for the day they can say that about superhero movies. The analogy works because it’s a similar chokehold,” Tarantino says. But when can we expect the tide to turn? “The writing’s not quite on the wall yet,” he says, “the way it was in 1969 when it was, ‘Oh, my God, we just put a bunch of money into things that nobody gives a damn about anymore.’”
Even from the earlier days of the MCU, directors such as Shane Black and James Gunn brought their own personalities into Marvel, and we’ve since had diverse directors such as Ryan Coogler, Taika Waititi, Destin Daniel Cretton, and Chloe Zhao coming from smaller, independent worlds. We’ll also have Nia DaCosta and Julius Onah in the near future. That’s not to say that these directors don’t have to make compromises – Sam Raimi managed to bring some aspects of his horror-love into Doctor Strange 2, but still had a lot of other elements to contend with.
Both Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino put in their own time, money, and work to support cinema and the theatrical experience. Tarantino owns two arthouse repertory theatres in Los Angeles, and Scorsese runs several film preservation organisations such as the World Cinema Project. He has also produced arthouse films from women directors such as Happy as Lazzaro, The Souvenir, and Shirley just in the last few years alone.
It looks as though the “auteurs vs Marvel” debate is not going to go away anytime soon. But one thing’s for sure – we won’t be seeing Scorsese or Tarantino filming men in capes in this lifetime. Check out our guide to the Marvel movies, ranked – if you want to join the discourse.