Chris Hemsworth says Martin Scorsese’s Marvel criticism was “harsh”

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Chris Hemsworth, the star of the new Mad Max movie, Furiosa, has hit back at criticism of Marvel by legendary filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.

While Marvel isn’t as dominant as it once was at the box office a few years ago, it remains a cultural force that still holds significant power. For a time, it felt the biggest movie in the world was a revolving door of films set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with superhero tales triumphing over original storytelling from unique directors.

Within the last twelve months, there has seemingly been a change in mainstream consumer tastes due to the success of Barbie and Oppenheimer, coupled with the demise of Marvel movies. Notably, The Marvels, released in 2023, was the lowest-grossing movie set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the studios boss recently acknowledged they were enduring a “rough time”.

The decline of Marvel is music to the ears of Scorsese, who has been deriding the movie studios since 2019, when he told Esquire that their films are “not cinema”.

The director elaborated: “Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”

He was later supported by The Godfather filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, who remarked to Agence France-Presse: “When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he’s right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration.”

Now, Chris Hemsworth, who notably appeared as Thor in several Marvel movies, has explained how their words were difficult to swallow. “It felt harsh,” the Australian actor admitted in a recent interview with The Times on May 12th. “And it bothers me, especially from heroes. It was an eye-roll for me, people bashing the superhero space.”

“Those guys had films that didn’t work too, we all have,” he claimed. Hemsworth continued: “When they talked about what was wrong with superheroes, I thought, ‘ Cool, tell that to the billions who watch them. Were they all wrong? And cinema-going did not change because of superheroes, but because of smartphones and social media.”

Hemsworth added: “Superhero films actually kept people in the cinemas during that transition and now people are coming back.”

Meanwhile, Hemsworth recently expressed his regret over Thor: Love and Thunder, remarking to Vanity Fair, “I got caught up in the improv and the wackiness, and I became a parody of myself. I didn’t stick the landing.”

Even while they were on the set making the movie, Hemsworth was riddled with anxiety about his character, and believed he was a spare part despite being cast in the lead role. He explained: “Sometimes I felt like a security guard for the team. I would read everyone else’s lines, and go, ‘Oh, they got way cooler stuff. They’re having more fun. What’s my character doing?’”

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