Auteur filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has recently joined the ranks of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppolla by saying that he does not think actors who work in Marvel Cinematic Universe films are movie stars. This has caused an uproar on Twitter against the Pulp Fiction director, and even Shang-Chi actor Simu Liu has said that these movies give non-white actors the representation that they deserve.

However, unlike the two other aforementioned directors, Tarantino has not said that he hates these movies and does not consider them cinema. In an extensive chat on the podcast by Tom Segura, 2 Bears, 1 Cave, the filmmaker-writer said his only problem was that these have now become the only movies that generate some kind of excitement among fans and studios alike. His exact comment was, “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.”

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Tarantino, who used to say that the 1980s were the worst decade of films, stated on the podcast that he believes the current decade makes the 80s look good. 

In this regard, Tarantino and Scorsese are walking a similar path. Scorsese had also said that Marvel movies have managed to sideline original stories and ideas, and that filmmakers who want to make original films are losing out on financing because the big production houses seem interested in superhero movies.

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The Taxi Driver filmmaker had also compared Marvel movies to theme park rides. In such rides, you pay to go up and down and in random motions, but everyone knows what happens in the end- you walk out with a sense of satisfaction. Scorsese believes this trend in MCU films cannot offer complex characters or revelations that enlighten us about the human psychology.

Tarantino, on the other hand, has not been critical in the same vein. He admitted that he was a Marvel fan as a child, and that he might have been excited about these movies had they released when he was younger. The two-time Academy Award winner also stated that Marvel movies have stopped creating movie stars, since it is the character that becomes the star.

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His comment was, “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. 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.”