Florence Pugh Defends the Marvel Cinematic Universe

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Florence Pugh, Avengers, Marvel Studios

Amid the ongoing criticism toward the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Black Widow's Florence Pugh stepped up to defend the superhero franchise in a new interview. 

A hot topic of conversation when it comes to the MCU is the scrutiny that it has been receiving from fans and filmmakers. 

The Wolf of Wall Street and The Irishman's Martin Scorsese didn't mince any words when he claimed that Marvel movies are "not cinema" while Dune director Denis Villeneuve even pointed out that the films are "cut and paste."

Despite that, the cavalry arrived to defend the MCU, with Spider-Man star Tom Holland calling out Scorsese by saying that the director "doesn't know what it's like" making a Marvel movie because he's never been involved with one, while DC Studios head James Gunn was candid about the director's comments. 

Florence Pugh Joins the MCU's Defense Party

Florence Pugh, Avengers

Speaking with Total Film, via GamesRadar, Black Widow actress Florence Pugh, who portrays the MCU's Yelena Belova, talked about joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe while also defending the superhero franchise from critics. 

When she first signed with Marvel, Pugh said that her peers from the "indie-film world" told her that she was "never going to go back to small movies again:"

“When I first signed onto Marvel, lots of people from the indie-film world were all telling me that I was never going to go back to small movies again, and it always kind of wound me up."

The Thunderbolts actress then pointed out that "there's beauty in the massive epic storylines" that franchises like the MCU and Dune are telling, noting that they are "amazing, mega movies:"

"Because I think there’s beauty in all types of those films. There’s beauty in the massive, epic storylines like 'Dune,' like Marvel, like even 'Oppenheimer' that I did. They’re amazing, mega movies. And then there’s also beauty in all these little ones that not everyone is going to see, but are going to affect the right person at the right time. I’ve never, ever only thought that I was going to just do one type of movie. I’ve always known that I want to dabble in all areas.”

Pugh also expressed her desire to be a director in the future, adding that she needs to "learn a bit more" in perfecting her craft: 

“It’s also good for my brain to dabble in all areas. I would love to direct. I know how important it is to have a good dialogue with your director. I know how crucial it is. And I just feel like you can’t just throw yourself at it, and hope that the spaghetti sticks. I need to learn a bit more, and understand why things go where [they do], and really watch all these people that I have been watching."

Why Florence Pugh's Marvel Defense Makes Sense

There's no denying that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a successful franchise, and it's only fitting that stars like Florence Pugh are joining the cause in defending it. 

Despite the MCU's Phase 5 being off to a rocky start, Pugh's comments about appreciating the "beauty" of these mega-blockbusters allow fans to reflect on the brand of entertainment the franchise showcases. 

Aside from Pugh, Tom Holland, and James Gunn, there are also other Marvel stars who have been vocal about defending superhero movies. 

Original Spider-Man actor Tobey Maguire previously reflected on the superhero genre, noting that "it kind of got more cohesive in time" despite being "more erratic." Hulk star Mark Ruffalo also said that Marvel allows its talent "recreate each piece to their own style, their likeness."

Hopefully, as Phase 5 continues to expand, more Marvel actors will be vocal in defending the MCU. 

Fans can catch Florence Pugh's Yelena again when Marvel Studios' Thunderbolts premieres in theaters on July 26, 2024.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.