Add another to the list of high-profile directors alongside Martin Scorcese who are curiously outspoken against superhero movies, particularly the highly popular Marvel Cinematic Universe films; Denis Villeneuve, director of the upcoming Dune as well as highly-regarded movies Blade Runner 2049, Arrival and Sicario sat down with Spanish outlet El Mundo, where the interviewer brought up Scorcese’s remarks that “superhero movies aren’t true cinema.” Villeneuve agreed, stating that “these types of movies have turned us into zombies a bit” due to their formulaic, “cut and paste” nature.
“Perhaps the problem is that we are in front of too many Marvel movies that are nothing more than a ‘cut and paste’ of others,” Villeneuve said in the interview. “Perhaps these types of movies have turned us into zombies a bit … But big and expensive movies of great value, there are many today. I don’t feel capable of being pessimistic at all.”
When asked about the irony of big-budget, blockbuster films containing anticapitalist overtones, Villeneuve countered by saying that big-budget films are still artistically important, citing such notable contemporary filmmakers as Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception) and Alfonson Cuaron (Roma, Gravity).
“Just think of the golden age of Hollywood to see that commercial films can make a different artistic proposal and, therefore, political. I have never felt like a loss or an impediment to have a generous budget to do what I wanted to do. Upside down. Who said that a movie on a big budget can’t be artistically relevant at the same time? I am currently thinking of people like Christopher Nolan or Alfonso Cuarón.”
In the time since Villeneuve’s superhero movie commentary was made public a few directors have clapped back on the matter, such as Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, who retweeted an earlier comment he made in December 2020.
“As a director I don’t slag on the work of other directors even when I don’t like something they’ve made,” Derrickson said in the tweet. “This job is hard enough for all of us, and nobody ever sets out to make a bad movie.”
District 9 and Elysium director Neill Blomkamp was a bit less amiable about Villeneuve’s comments, brusquely stating “what a f—– a–hole!”
Do you agree with Denis Villeneuve’s comments knocking Marvel movies or think that he’s unfairly attacking superhero films based on a few that didn’t live up to his expectations?