While Martin Scorcese is a legendary director known for Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and most recently, Killers of the Flower Moon, the Hollywood legend is also a well-known critic of the MCU and comic book movies, claiming they're "not cinema" and a "danger" to culture.
Joe Russo of the Russo Brothers directing duo clapped back in a weird social media video involving dogs, the Oscars, and the box office.
Joe Russo Throws MCU Shade at Martin Scorcese
After Martin Scorcese's daughter, Francesca, posted a TikTok video sketch of the legendary filmmaker pretending to direct his dog, MCU director Joe Russo posted a video on Instagram containing a dig at the director.
In Russo's video, he pointed out that Scorcese's dog is named Oscar, a reference to the Academy Awards which the director has received ten-plus nominations through the years and a win for The Departed.
Russo then showed his own schnauzer dog, which he jokingly refers to as "Box Office," a clear nod to his and his brother's Marvel box office smash-hits like Avengers: Endgame, which shattered box office records and became the highest-grossing film of all time earning $2.8 million (before Avatar reclaimed the crown).
For reference, Scorcese's most financially successful film was 2006's The Departed which earned $211 million, followed by Cape Fear and The Aviator. However, the last three of his four movies that received wide theatrical releases - Hugo, Silence, and Killers of the Flower Moon - are all considered box office flops.
Joe Russo's Instagram caption tagged Scorcese and reads as follows:
"It appears we have the same muse…"
Joe Russo's video can be seen below:
Why Joe Russo's Martin Scorcese Criticism Stands Apart
The Avengers: Endgame director is far from the first within the Marvel family to react to Martin Scorcese's criticisms. Both Spider-Man: No Way Home's Tom Holland and, most recently, Loki Season 2 producer Kevin Wright have defended their work and the MCU franchise.
In addition, Joe Russo isn't the first MCU director to respond to Scorcese's comments.
For instance, in 2021, Guardians of the Galaxy's James Gunn acknowledged Scorcese as "one of the greatest filmmakers who's ever existed" but noted his comments were "cynical" and a possible marketing strategy:
"So, he’s creating his movie in the shadow of the Marvel films, and so he uses that to get attention for something that he wasn’t getting as much attention as he wanted… and he’s one of the greatest filmmakers whose ever existed.”
Still, there's a notable difference between Gunn's response and Joe Russo's.
Gunn was asked his take in an interview, but Joe Russo's response was largely unprovoked and used footage of Scorcese that had nothing to do with his superhero criticism.
While Russo has a worthy argument and his and Anthony Russo's Marvel films were a lightning rod for Scorcese's commentary, it's tough to say how fans will respond to his shade at the iconic director.
Regardless, this video once again proves that film and television don't hold a monopoly on drama and/or comedy, and fans will be watching to see if this social media post warrants a sequel.