Quentin Tarantino, director of films like Kill Bill and Inglorious Basterds, offered a few somewhat dissenting words on the state of Marvel movies and the actors who star in the MCU, calling out Thor star Chris Hemsworth in particular.
Marvel Studios is a veritable juggernaut in the movie industry. It has released 30 films since 2008 with no signs of slowing down, only speeding up.
As the old saying goes though, you can’t please everyone. For all the fans, both die-hard and casual that the MCU has amassed over its tenure, the franchise has also gained its fair share of detractors.
Notable among them are big-name, heavily established Hollywood directors such Denis Villeneuve and Martin Scorsese, the latter of whom infamously stated that Marvel movies aren’t examples of cinema. And now, another directing icon gave his thoughts on the MCU.
Quentin Tarantino on Hollywood’s Marvel-ization
Speaking to Variety, prolific director Quentin Tarantino offered his stance on Marvel movies. He began by saying that he doesn’t believe the actual actors, such as Chris Hemsworth, are the stars of the show anymore:
“Part of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood is…you have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters. But they’re not movie stars. Right? Captain America is the star. Or Thor is the star. I mean, I’m not the first person to say that. I think that’s been said a zillion times…but it’s like, you know, it’s these franchise characters that become a star.”
Tarantino made it clear that he’s not trying to disparage Marvel Studios and that this is simply how he views Hollywood as of late:
“I’m not even putting them down frankly, to tell you the truth. But that is one of the — the legacy of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood movies.”
The director expanded on his comments, remarking that he thinks MCU films seem to be the only movies that get made and have a strong following anymore:
“Look, I used to collect Marvel comics like crazy when I was a kid. There’s an aspect that if these movies were coming out when I was in my twenties, I would totally be f*cking happy and totally love them. I mean, they wouldn’t be the only movies being made. They would be those movies amongst other movies. But, you know, I’m almost 60, so yeah. No, I’m not quite as excited about them.”
And finally, he doubled down on that belief with his complaint that Marvel, in his eyes, is “the entire representation of this era of movies:”
“My only axe to grind against them is they’re the only things that seem to be made,” he added. “And they’re the only things that seem to generate any kind of excitement amongst a fan base or even for the studio making them. That’s what they’re excited about. And so it’s just the fact that they are the entire representation of this era of movies right now. There’s not really much room for anything else. That’s my problem.”
How Well Does Quentin Tarantino’s MCU Argument Hold?
Some of Quentin Tarantino’s complaints do, in fact, seem to hold a bit of water.
Firstly, superheroes are “in” right now and have been for some time, despite claims of franchise fatigue. Big-budget super-epics are far more likely to get greenlit while a mid-budget drama might get sent straight to streaming.
And there’s an inherent risk in making calls like that. With fewer eyes on different and diverse types of movies, the less variety the average filmgoer will have if they decide to motor over to their local cineplex and catch the latest releases. And as they say, variety is the spice of life.
Now, on his other comments regarding Marvel actors being lesser stars than the characters they portray, one could argue that while the characters are indeed uber-popular, there’s a highly rabid fanbase for stars such as Chris Hemsworth or Scarlett Johansson that may equal or even surpass that of the response to Thor Odinson or Natasha Romanoff.
And on the topic of Chris Hemsworth, the actor has indicated lately that he believes his avenging days may be coming to a close with his next Thor appearance. One must wonder if he too believes that his character has taken on a bigger life than him.
Whatever the case, Marvel Studios isn’t going to stop making movies anytime soon. Its next theatrical release, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, hits on February 17, 2023.