In the month-plus since Martin Scorsese said that Marvel movies were “not cinema,” a lot of people involved with the MCU — as well as their legions of fans — have rushed to their defense. But there have been two people who’ve kept their traps shut: Joe and Anthony Russo, who’ve helmed two Captain Americas and the last two Avengers.
But they’re silent no more: In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the pair reacted, however briefly, to the maker of Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and the new The Irishman criticizing the genre that’s made them household names. First they took gentle umbrage with Scorsese saying he’s only seen a handful, if only because it’s hard to have a meaningful dialogue with someone who doesn’t know them all.
“But, at the end of the day, what do we know?” Joe joked. “We’re just two guys from Cleveland, Ohio, and ‘cinema’ is a New York word. In Cleveland, we call them movies.”
Anthony was a bit more forceful: “The other way to think about it, too, is nobody owns cinema. We don’t own cinema. You don’t own cinema. Scorsese doesn’t own cinema.”
Two weeks back Scorsese elaborated on his comments via a column in The New York Times, in which he said, among other things, that comic book movies have killed all other genres in Hollywood, thus forcing people like him — whose relationship to comic book movies involves spending four years considering directing what became Joker before deciding he couldn’t crack it — to seek budgets elsewhere. (Netflix paid around $150 million for The Irishman, which is currently in limited release before bowing on the streamer at month’s end.)
So there you have it: Two more Marvel employees trying to defend their craft while not disrespecting one of the medium’s masters.