• John Woo shares Martin Scorsese’s sentiment on the MCU, stating that he is not interested in movies with big special effects or based on comic books.
  • Woo prefers the style of Martin Scorsese’s movies and appreciates what he considers “real cinema” and old-fashioned movies.
  • According to Woo, there have been fewer movies recently that embody the qualities of cinema that he prefers, expressing a longing for more films in that style.



Martin Scorsese famously claimed that the MCU isn’t cinema, and iconic action movie director John Woo agrees. There’s little doubt that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed the Hollywood blockbuster landscape, and while the franchise and its wider superhero genre have produced some genuine classics, not everyone is a fan of CGI-infused spectacles. Of course, Scorsese’s comments were more nuanced than they appear out of context, with the legendary director going on to explain to Empire in 2019 that Marvel movies, despite being generally well-made, generally aren’t “human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being

In the years since, various other Hollywood creatives have spoken out to agree or disagree with Scorsese, and iconic action movie director John Woo is the latest. Speaking to The New Yorker, Woo explains why the MCU doesn’t interest him, echoing some of Scorsese’s oft-quoted words in the process. Read his full quotation below:

I’ve never liked watching movies with big special effects, or anything based on comic books. I prefer Martin Scorsese’s movies, that kind of cinema. I can’t wait to watch “Killers of the Flower Moon.” I like old-fashioned movies, you know? Real cinema. There aren’t many movies like that lately.

Related: How To Watch the Marvel Movies In Order (By Release Date & In Order Of MCU Timeline Events)

Hollywood Directors Who Hate Superhero Movies

Captain America covered in dirt in front of portals and other heroes in Avengers Endgame's final battle

Though the best movies in the MCU are hard to complain about, several famous Hollywood directors have spoken out against Marvel movies in general or their effect on Hollywood as a whole. Perhaps the most high-profile is Titanic, Aliens, and Avatar director James Cameron. The historically successful filmmaker told the New York Times that he finds the lack of meaningful character development disappointing and that “The things that really ground us and give us power, love, and a purpose? Those characters don’t experience it, and I think that’s not the way to make movies.

Francis Ford Coppola of The Godfather fame responded directly to Scorsese’s comments, saying at the 2019 Lumière Festival, “I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again.” Ridney Scott didn’t mince words, saying of superhero movies in general, “They’re f***ing boring as s***.” Quentin Tarantino mixed more nuanced criticism about Marvel heroes overtaking actors as cinematic draws with a more direct insult, claiming to the LA Times that he and other filmmakers can’t wait for the MCU to die out. While it’s clear that not everyone agrees, the MCU will likely continue to garner detractors as the franchise expands.

Source: The New Yorker

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