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Scorsese: ‘Save cinema’ from comic book movie takeover - Please!

By Jake Beardslee · September 27, 2023

In brief…

  • Iconic film director Martin Scorsese slammed comic-book films as "not cinema."
  • The "Raging Bull" director urged fellow filmmakers to take it upon themselves to challenge superhero-movie dominance.
  • Scorsese called comic-book films "manufactured content" and compared them to "AI making a film."
  • His next film, "Killers of the Flower Moon," focuses on the 1920s murders of Osage Nation members.
Iconic director Martin Scorsese is doubling down on criticizing comic-book movies.  Siebbi/Wikimedia

Martin Scorsese is doubling down on his controversial stance against comic-book movies, urging fellow filmmakers to “save cinema” from superhero culture in a new interview.

“The danger there is what it’s doing to our culture,” Scorsese told GQ. “Because there are going to be generations now that think movies are only those — that’s what movies are.”

When interviewer Zach Baron suggested this may already be the case, Scorsese agreed.

“They already think that,” the “Raging Bull” director said. “Which means that we have to then fight back stronger.” He called on directors such as the Safdie brothers and Christopher Nolan to “hit ‘em from all sides” and “reinvent” cinema.

Scorsese referred to comic book-inspired movies as “manufactured content” rather than true cinema, comparing them to “AI making a film.”

The filmmaker’s next project, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” is based on the true story of the 1920s murders of Osage Nation members in Oklahoma by white settlers. Scorsese said the film takes “a sober look at who we are as a culture.”

Leonardo DiCaprio was originally cast as the FBI agent investigating the killings, but Scorsese rewrote the script to focus more on the Native American perspective. DiCaprio now plays the husband of an affluent Osage woman targeted in the murders.

Scorsese worked closely with the Osage Nation, even having a tribal elder bless the set on the first day of filming.