Everyone’s favorite interview question came up again during during a chat with The Hollywood Reporter about an Oscars Best Picture push for “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” when star Tom Holland defended superhero movies as “real art.”
Holland became the latest in a long list of A-listers weighing in on the topic of whether or not the genre movies are good for the industry, including Ridley Scott, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Martin Scorsese, who famously called Marvel movies “not cinema.”
“You can ask [Martin] Scorsese ‘Would you want to make a Marvel movie?’ But he doesn’t know what it’s like because he’s never made one,” Holland told THR. “I’ve made Marvel movies and I’ve also made movies that have been in the conversation in the world of the Oscars, and the only difference, really, is one is much more expensive than the other. But the way I break down the character, the way the director etches out the arc of the story and characters — it’s all the same, just done on a different scale. So I do think they’re real art.”
Holland is, of course, the star of three Spider-Man films, but he first gained attention in the 2012 drama “The Impossible,” about a family struggling to survive in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. That film featured heavily in the awards conversations that year.
He went on to namecheck several other MCU actors who have successfully straddled both worlds. “When you’re making these films, you know that good or bad, millions of people will see them, whereas when you’re making a small indie film, if it’s not very good no one will watch it, so it comes with different levels of pressure. I mean, you can also ask Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr. or Scarlett Johansson — people who have made the kinds of movies that are ‘Oscar-worthy’ and also made superhero movies — and they will tell you that they’re the same.”
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” opened December 13 to a staggering $260 million in its first weekend. IndieWire’s Kate Erbland graded the film a B, writing, “There’s still something charmingly small-scale about this film. It’s personal, and that’s a theme and an idea that is only further hammered home as the film zips through its first act, starts to slow down in its second, and completely nails the whole damn thing by its eye-popping final 40 minutes.”