Samuel L. Jackson has defended superhero films after numerous directors have questioned their artistic merit.
Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott and Francis Ford Coppola have all criticised modern superhero films to various degrees. The latter, last month, said they’re all based on the same “prototype” that is “made over and over and over again”.
Jackson, who plays Nick Fury in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, addressed the criticism in an interview with The Times.
“All movies are valid,” Jackson said. “Some go to the cinema to be moved dearly. Some like superheroes. If somebody has more butts on seats it just means your audience is not as broad. There are people who have had successful careers but nobody can recite one line of their parts. I’m the guy who says shit that’s on a T-shirt.”
The actor, who will receive an Honorary Oscar at the 2022 Governors Awards on March 25, also believes the Academy Awards should celebrate popular movies – noting the box office success of Spider-Man: No Way Home.
“They should have an Oscar for the most popular movie,” Jackson said. “Because that’s what the business is about. They should! It did what movies did forever – it got people to a big dark room.”
For this year’s ceremony, the Academy has introduced a fan favourite film category voted by the public. The winner will be announced at the ceremony on March 27.
Scorsese previously compared Marvel movies to “theme parks” and said he doesn’t consider them “cinema”. In an interview with Empire, the director said: “Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks.
“It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is the next film in Marvel’s pipeline, set to be released in cinemas on May 6.