Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo have reacted to filmmaker Martin Scorsese's sustained dismissal of the Marvel brand of movies as being 'not cinema'. Previously, Scorsese was supported in his stance by acclaimed directors such as Francis Ford Coppola and Ken Loach, while a slew of Marvel actors like Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Chadwick Boseman defended the MCU.
"Ultimately, we define cinema as a film that can bring people together to have a shared, emotional experience," Joe told in an interview. "When we look at the box office of Avengers: Endgame, we don't see that as a signifier of financial success, we see it as a signifier of emotional success." He added, "It's a movie that had an unprecedented impact on audiences around the world in the way that they shared that narrative and the way that they experienced it. And the emotions they felt watching it."
Scorsese while promoting his upcoming film, Netflix's The Irishman, had compared the MCU movies to a 'theme park ride'. In a New York Times op-ed, he had written, "It isn't the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being."
Joe continued, "But, at the end of the day, what do we know? We're just two guys from Cleveland, Ohio, and 'cinema' is a New York word. In Cleveland, we call them movies." Anthony chimed in: "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."
Earlier, Captain American star Chris Evans had said in a conversation with Scarlett Johansson, "I think original content inspires creative content. I think new stuff is what keeps the creative wheel rolling. I just believe there's room at the table for all of it. It's like saying a certain type of music isn't music. Who are you to say that?"
Avengers: Endgame broke multiple box office records during its theatrical run, ultimately overtaking Avatar to become the highest grossing movie of all time, unadjusted for inflation. Scorsese, meanwhile, is working with a Marvel-level budget on The Irishman, which is reportedly the most expensive original film Netflix has ever produced.