Man, Martin Scorsese sure has gotten a lot of mileage out of his Marvel movies comments, hasn’t he? What originally began as a rather casual claim that the MCU isn’t “cinema” has now morphed into a series of talking points comparing superhero movies to amusement parks, plus the bizarre assertion that these flicks are somehow “invading” pure and unadulterated cinema. He’s either doing a brilliant bit of marking for his new film The Irishman, which arrives on that bastion of all things cinema–Netflix–on November 27th, or he’s just gone a bit fuzzy in the head.
Scorsese isn’t the only one making waves; lots of Marvel defenders have popped up in his wake. Filmmakers and Hollywood heavy hitters like James Gunn, Samuel L. Jackson, and Robert Downey Jr. have weighed in. Now, apparently, and in no way timed to the October 20th release of HBO’s Watchmen series, creator Damon Lindelof is getting his two cents in as well.
Here’s what Lindelof told Variety on the red carpet for the premiere of his new Watchmen series:
“There’s a space in Marvel movies that they are beginning to explore and are beginning to be provocative and interesting. Logan’ or ‘Black Panther’ are very close in my opinion to cinema and to put all Marvel movies in the same box doesn’t seem fair … I’m just curious as to how many Marvel movies he has seen. I don’t view it as a put down. I think there has to be space for popular entertainment and indie fare and cinema.”
Lindelof stops short of both defending Marvel movies and of just outright agreeing with Scorsese, which is probably the wise thing to do when you have an upcoming premiere of a high-profile adaptation of an acclaimed graphic novel that some might look down on as just another pulpy comic.
So is Watchmen cinema?
“The original ‘Watchmen’ has checked all those boxes and those are boxes we aspire to. [Watchmen] has always been literature. I’m not the only person to see it that way. What’s the existential dread? What’s the unbeatable enemy?” If you’re facing nuclear Armageddon, how does a superhero beat that? ‘Watchmen’ tried to answer that question.”
We’ll see how Watchmen the series answers its own questions this weekend.