In 2019, what is certain in life? The sun shall rise, the IRS shall tax your income, and the “Are Marvel movies actually cinema?” debate shall echo into the infinite void. There is exactly one human being whose opinion I would actually care to hear about this never-ending argument. And wouldn’t you know it? He shared it! The ‘he’ in question being Parasite director Bong Joon-ho, who spilled the beans on his unique opinions about comic book movies with Variety.
Joon-ho chatted alongside longtime collaborator Tom Quinn, the CEO of NEON who distributed Parasite alongside several other Joon-ho films. When the subject turned to the “Marvel isn’t cinema” debate spurred by controversial comments from film masters like Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, Quinn spoke bluntly: “I would rank watching “Black Panther” with my family at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn as one of the top experiences that I had that year. So I’m not sure I understand that argument.” I personally had a similar experience watching Black Panther in a sold-out theatre, so I get Quinn’s argument! Joon-ho, on the other hand, spoke much more eloquently:
I have so much respect for Scorsese and Coppola, and I grew up studying their films. So I fully understand the context of their comments and I respect their opinion. But on the other hand, if I look at the films individually, I enjoyed “Guardians of the Galaxy,” James Mangold’s “Logan” and “Winter Soldier” by the Russo Brothers. There are great cinematic moments in those films.
Dang. He just nailed it, you know? Joon-ho takes great care in both examining the context beyond their soundbite-ready comments and praising contemporary superhero cinema he’s enjoyed. Perfect! Quinn even teased Joon-ho a little bit, comparing Snowpiercer to Captain America: The Winter Soldier because they both star Chris Evans (“Chris Evans slips on a fish. I don’t think that is Marvel’s sensibility,” countered Joon-ho).
But then, dear readers, the interviewer asked if Joon-ho would ever want to direct a Marvel film himself. And Joon-ho dropped this absolute gem of a response into our laps.
I have a personal problem. I respect the creativity that goes into superhero films, but in real life and in movies, I can’t stand people wearing tight-fitting clothes. I’ll never wear something like that, and just seeing someone in tight clothes is mentally difficult. I don’t know where to look, and I feel suffocated. Most superheroes wear tight suits, so I can never direct one. I don’t think anyone will offer the project to me either. If there is a superhero who has a very boxy costume, maybe I can try.
I’m… I’m just beyond thrilled by this bonkers response. And I need to see Joon-ho’s “boxy superhero” movie, like, yesterday.
Parasite is in theatres now, and you simply must see it. Want more examples of “Bong Joon-ho” being an absolute treasure? Here are his perfect responses to a Reddit AMA. Plus, learn how to perform that catchy “Jessica jingle” from the film. And finally, here’s Kevin Feige himself weighing in on the Marvel cinema thing.