24 Nov – Quentin Tarantino found himself criticised by Marvel star Simu Liu for voicing the same concern previously expressed by filmmakers of his time regarding the flood of superhero movies in theatres.
The filmmaker, known for films like "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill" among others, recently shared in a Tom Segura podcast that he doesn't love Marvel movies, though he used to love the comics when he was younger.
"My only axe to grind is they're the only things that seem to be made," Tarantino said. "And they're the only things that seem to generate any kind of excitement amongst a fan base or even for the studio making them... So it's just the fact that they are the entire representation of this era of movies right now. There's not really much room for anything else. That's my problem. It's a problem of representation."
"Back in 2005, if an actor stars in a movie that does as good as the Marvel movies do, then that guy's an absolute star," he continued. "It means people dig him or her and they like them and want to see them in stuff. Sandra Bullock is in Speed and everyone thought she's amazing in it. Everyone fell in love with her... They were excited by Sandra Bullock and wanted to see her in something else. That's not the case now. We want to see that guy [keep] playing Wolverine or whatever."
"Part of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood is you have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters," he added. "But they're not movie stars. Right? Captain America is the star. Thor is the star. I'm not the first person to say that. I think that's been said a zillion times, but it's these franchise characters become a star."
Following his statements, several people, including Marvel's "Shang-chi" star Simu Liu shot back, with the actor saying, "If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to lead a $400 million plus movie. I am in awe of their filmmaking genius. They are transcendent auteurs. But they don't get to point their nose at me or anyone.
"No movie studio is or ever will be perfect. But I'm proud to work with one that has made sustained efforts to improve diversity onscreen by creating heroes that empower and inspire people of all communities everywhere. I loved the 'Golden Age' too... but it was white as hell."
However, not many people agreed with Liu in this case, with netizens stating that they learned more about films from Tarantino's movies than via Marvel, and that the filmmaker is not one to focus on "white" movies.
One netizen posted, "Django, Jackie Brown. Death Proof and Kill Bill driven by female leads. Hateful Eight at least debatably a black lead also. And only Reservoir Dogs doesn't have prominent women or PoC... Tarantino cast a black woman as the lead for this third film, Marvel took like 18 films to not cast a white male in the same. Tarantino is not perfect (who is), but if we're comparing them directly, it's just no question that he comes out ahead here."