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Paul Thomas Anderson defends superhero movies: “Spider-Man will get people back in cinemas”

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Paul Thomas Anderson has discussed the merits of superhero movies, believing they’re a crucial part of cinema’s revival amid the pandemic.

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The director, while promoting his latest film Licorice Pizza, was asked about the current cultural landscape within Hollywood, when the conversation turned towards Marvel and DC’s impact.

Speaking to The New Yorker, Anderson said: “Boy, it warms my heart to be able to tell you that I feel happier than ever working in this business. I’ve got my own little corner of the sandbox and am working with people that I really admire, like at M-G-M.

“I’m incredibly happy right now. But that’s me. There’s no end to the kind of sky-is-falling questions that always surround films and, what’s going to happen.”

Spider-Man: No Way Home
Tom Holland in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ CREDIT: Sony/Marvel

He added: “Obviously it’s gotten even more complicated with streaming and the sort of overabundance of superhero movies. Most of the stuff I don’t take too seriously. I mean, it seems that there is a bit of preoccupation with superhero films. I like them.

“It seems to be something that’s popular these days to sort of wonder if they’ve ruined movies and all this kind of stuff. I just don’t feel that way. I mean, look, we’re all nervous about people getting back to the theatre, but you know what’s going to get them back in movie theatres? Spider-Man. So let’s be happy about that.”

Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott have both been critical of superhero movies in recent years, with the latter saying they’re “boring as shit”.

“The best films are driven by the characters, and we’ll come to superheroes after this if you want, because I’ll crush it,” Scott told Deadline. “I’ll fucking crush it. They’re fucking boring as shit.”

He added: “Their scripts are not any fucking good. I think I’ve done three great scripted superhero movies. One would be Alien with Sigourney Weaver. One would be fucking Gladiator, and one would be Harrison Ford [Blade Runner].”

Spider-Man: No Way Home is Marvel’s next major blockbuster, which has been mostly praised in early reviews.

Directed by Jon Watts, the film celebrates the Marvel hero’s past and present, bringing back past villains like Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin and Electro while concluding a trilogy started by 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Spider-Man: No Way Home will be released in UK cinemas on December 15.

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