Mark Ruffalo Throws Shade at Star Wars While Defending the MCU

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
Mark Ruffalo, Star Wars, MCU

Between the CGI, runtimes, and so-called "woke" culture, Marvel Studios has been facing more criticism than ever going into Phase 4. As franchise storytelling continues to become ever more popular, the MCU is always being compared to other major franchises such as the DCEU and Star Wars.

The fan base has become gradually more divided on all the latest projects and that extends throughout the industry, with much of Hollywood's top talent offering divided opinions. Many particularly praise the variety the MCU offers in terms of genres, style, and characters.

Now, one of the MCU's biggest stars has offered his own thoughts on how the MCU sizes up against the competition. 

Mark Ruffalo Compares Marvel and Star Wars

Mark Ruffalo, Hulk, Infinity Gauntlet

Speaking with Metro about She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo addressed whether Marvel Studios is releasing too much content, throwing shade at the Star Wars franchise in the process.

Ruffalo defended how Marvel lets its talent "recreate each piece to their own style, their likeness," while Star Wars always tends to have a similar feeling of being "in that same kind of world:"

"It’s not something I worry about. I understand that these things run their course and then something else comes along. But the thing Marvel has done well is that, inside the MCU, just as they do with comic books, they let a director or an actor sort of recreate each piece to their own style, their likeness. Marvel generally lets them bring that to the material. If you watch Star Wars, you’re pretty much going to get the same version of Star Wars each time. It might have a little bit of humor. It might have a little bit of different animation. But you’re always, really, in that same kind of world. But with Marvel, you can have a whole different feeling even within the Marvel Universe."

What Makes Star Wars and Marvel So Different?

Star Wars may cover many characters, eras, and cultures, but ultimately, everything tends to fall under the sci-fi umbrella with a similar tone. Marvel on the other hand, similarly explores a wide variety of subjects, but does so under different genres with varying tones as each director is free to approach things in their own way.

This distinction comes from the fact that Star Wars was always built as one franchise and has since seen many spin-offs under Disney. The MCU is a cinematic universe filled with many franchises, each of which requires a varying tone to properly reflect its subject - this is what has allowed the franchise to continue for so long and release so much content while maintaining interest. 

Looking ahead, Star Wars appears to be moving further in the direction of the MCU as Disney+ expands the franchise at a rapid rate. With series such as AndorThe Mandalorian, and Obi-Wan Kenobi following very different protagonists and settings, this variety of tones will grow ever more important to maintain interest and make each project feel unique.

With regard to the original question Ruffalo was asked - "is there too much Marvel content?" - that's up for debate. The expansion of the MCU across Disney+ and the big screen may prove too much to maintain the interest of every fan. But just as comic readers don't tend to read every new Marvel issue, the MCU looks to be heading down a similar path with content for different audiences.

Mark Ruffalo will next appear in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law which premieres on August 18, exclusively on Disney+.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.