Tom Holland addresses Martin Scorsese's Marvel criticism, says superhero movies are 'real art'

Scorsese earlier said the movies were 'not cinema'


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Reuters file
Reuters file

Published: Sat 25 Dec 2021, 2:21 PM

It has been two years since veteran filmmaker Martin Scorsese commented on superhero movies, claiming that they were ‘not cinema’.

Spider-Man: No Way Home actor Tom Holland recently weighed in to defend the Marvel films. Holland shared his thoughts on the Oscar-winning director’s critical remarks on the genre in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

“You can ask Scorsese, ‘Would you want to make a Marvel movie?’ but he doesn’t know what it’s like because he’s never made one,” said Holland, who has also starred in movies like The Impossible and The Devil All the Time.

“I’ve made Marvel movies and I’ve also made movies that have been in the conversation in the world of the Oscars, and the only difference, really, is one is much more expensive than the other,” he continued.

“But the way I break down the character, the way the director etches out the arc of the story and characters - it’s all the same, just done on a different scale. So, I do think they’re real art,” he added.

Holland further said that his Avengers co-stars would back him up.

“When you’re making these films, you know that good or bad, millions of people will see them,” he explained, “whereas when you’re making a small indie film, if it’s not very good no one will watch it, so it comes with different levels of pressure.”

“I mean, you can also ask Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr. or Scarlett Johansson - people who have made the kinds of movies that are ‘Oscar-worthy’ and also made superhero movies - and they will tell you that they’re the same, just on a different scale,” Holland said.

Adding in one more difference between the two types of movies, he joked, “and there’s less Spandex in ‘Oscar movies.’”

Back in 2019, Scorsese opened up to Empire about his feelings on superhero movies dominating the box office. “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,” he said at the time.

“It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being,” he added.


A month later, Scorsese wrote an op-ed for a leading media outlet further explaining and clarifying his standpoint.

“Some people seem to have seized on the last part of my answer as insulting, or as evidence of hatred for Marvel on my part. If anyone is intent on characterizing my words in that light, there’s nothing I can do to stand in the way,” he wrote.

“Many franchise films are made by people of considerable talent and artistry. You can see it on the screen. The fact that the films themselves don’t interest me is a matter of personal taste and temperament,” he added.

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