On the same day that comments from Quentin Tarantino decrying the “Marvel-ization” of Hollywood went viral, Simu Liu followed up on Twitter to take filmmakers like the “Pulp Fiction” director and Martin Scorsese to task for their takedowns of the MCU.
“If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to lead a $400 million plus movie,” wrote Liu, whose 2021 “Shang-Chi” broke ground as the first Marvel movie with an Asian lead and grossed more than $432 million at the pandemic box office. “I am in awe of their filmmaking genius. They are transcendent auteurs. But they don’t get to point their nose at me or anyone.”
Liu is responding to Tarantino’s assertion that Marvel actors aren’t genuine movie stars on a recent episode of the “2 Bears, 1 Cave” podcast. Tarantino’s point was that Marvel Studios is driven more by IP than actual star power, and he said, “Part of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood is…you have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters. But they’re not movie stars. Right? Captain America is the star. Or Thor is the star… It’s these franchise characters that become a star.”
Liu continued on Twitter, “No movie studio is or ever will be perfect. But I’m proud to work with one that has made sustained efforts to improve diversity onscreen by creating heroes that empower and inspire people of all communities everywhere.”
Finally, the upcoming “Barbie” star who this year was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, said, “I loved the ‘Golden Age’ too.. but it was white as hell.” He’s seemingly digging at filmmakers like Tarantino and Scorsese’s reverence for the Hollywood of yore. (Recall that three years ago, Scorsese compared Marvel movies to theme parks and said they’re not actually cinema.)
Per the podcast with Tarantino, the “Django Unchained” filmmaker sees Marvel actors more as ambassadors for IP than stars in the classic sense. Tarantino also takes issue with how superhero movies seem to be all Hollywood is interested in right now.
“My only ax to grind against them is they’re the only things that seem to be made,” Tarantino said. “And they’re the only things that seem to generate any kind of excitement amongst a fan base or even like for the studio making them. That’s what they’re excited about. And, you know, so it’s just the fact that they are the entire representation of this era of movies right now.”
Liu had minor roles on TV before “Shang-Chi” made him a global star. This year, he was seen on two episodes of “Celebrity Jeopardy!” and lent his voice to “The Simpsons.”
If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to lead a $400 million plus movie.
I am in awe of their filmmaking genius. They are transcendent auteurs. But they don't get to point their nose at me or anyone.
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) November 22, 2022