If you follow Marvel Studios at all, you will have heard about the controversy surrounding legendary director Martin Scorsese. He takes umbrage with Marvel films and other so-called “popcorn entertainment.” He says that they are not “cinema.” Ever since his initial statement, there have been quotes, twitter threads, op-eds, and rants all over the internet debating the issue. But one man has thus far been silent: head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige. That finally changed yesterday when The Hollywood Reporter released a podcast interview with the producer.
The entire interview is fascinating, and well worth your time if you are a fan of Marvel. It discusses the future of Marvel on Disney+ and it overviews Feige’s entire career, including the wild ride that is Marvel Studios. Right at the end of the interview, he is asked about his thoughts on Scorsese and others who have said that Marvel movies are not cinema, or that believe superhero movies to ultimately be a bad thing for the medium of film. Feige’s considered response was:
“I think that’s not true. I think it’s unfortunate. I think myself and everybody that works on these movies loves cinema, loves movies, loves going to the movies, loves to watch a communal experience in a movie theater full of people… I think it’s fun for us to take our success and use it to take risks and go in different places. Everybody has a different definition of cinema. Everybody has a different definition of art. Everybody has a different definition of risk. Some people don’t think it’s cinema. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. Everyone is entitled to repeat that opinion. Everyone is entitled to write op-eds about that opinion. And I look forward to what will happen next. But in the meantime, we’re going to keep making movies.”
If anyone in the industry can feel good about their own success right now, it’s Kevin Feige. He is certainly the most successful producer in film history. His legacy will endure every bit as much as Scorsese’s. He is aware of this (he’s no fool, after all). I think this is perfectly summarized by his indication that he looks “forward to what will happen next.” He is ultimately confident in the product and the art that Marvel is making. He seems content to let the work speak for itself. All he can do is make the best movies and television shows that he can.
‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Kevin Feige (‘Avengers: Endgame’) [The Hollywood Reporter]