Ever since Martin Scorsese first opened up and let rip on the superhero genre, decrying the medium as not being cinema at all, the debate has been addressed by countless high-profile filmmakers and on-camera talents.
Francis Ford Coppola, Ridley Scott, Jane Campion, and others have been vocal in blasting comic book adaptations for their lack of artistic merit, and now someone with plenty of experience and an extensive knowledge of both worlds has stepped in to offer their opinion.
Samuel L. Jackson is the highest-grossing actor of all-time, racking up a box office count that’s fast closing in on $28 billion, while he’s also appeared in more than a few Academy Award-nominated prestige dramas. He’s equally comfortable showing up in small-scale independent projects as he is $200 million behemoths, which makes him more qualified than most to weigh in with his two cents.
That’s exactly what he did during a recent appearance on The View (per Variety), and he openly criticized the people knocking the likes of Marvel and DC, hinting that there may be an air of jealously on their part.
“Movies are movies. Those are the movies that I went to see when I was a kid. And the artistry of making a movie is something that was a mystery for so long. Making movies is no longer a mystery. Kids know how to do it on their phones. So it’s easy for [directors] to dismiss it, only because people aren’t going to see their movie.
It’s like we’ve been dumbed down, but that’s always been the case. When we were younger, people went to see cowboy movies, and they went to see superhero movies of another ilk, they had superheroes on television. When you told a serious story, yeah, you find a niche audience — same thing still happens. People go to the movies to make themselves feel better and to get out of their daily existence.”
You can’t argue with his logic, but the entire back-and-forth isn’t going to go away anytime soon, even though it’s quickly becoming a moot point for acclaimed critical darlings to lambast the one type of movie guaranteed to put butts in seats above all others.