Denis Villeneuve Says ‘Cut and Paste’ Marvel Movies Have ‘Turned Us Into Zombies’

The "Dune" director has weighed in on the great debate surrounding the artistic substance of the MCU.
Timothée Chalamet, "Dune"
Timothée Chalamet, "Dune"
Legendary Entertainment

Another day, another auteur weighing in on the artistic substance of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Almost in time for the two-year anniversary of when Martin Scorsese compared Marvel movies to theme parks, “Dune” director Denis Villeneuve has sounded off on what he thinks about many of the “cut and paste” Marvel movies dominating movie theaters in recent years. Villeneuve spoke to El Mundo (via The Direct) about the MCU, and why big-budget movies are still relevant when they’re coming from master storytellers.

“Perhaps the problem is that we are in front of too many Marvel movies that are nothing more than a ‘cut and paste’ of others,” Villeneuve said. “Perhaps these types of movies have turned us into zombies a bit… But big and expensive movies of great value there are many today. I don’t feel capable of being pessimistic at all.”

The Academy Award-nominated Villeneuve has yet to step into the Marvel Cinematic Universe himself, though he has franchise hopes for his upcoming “Dune” adaptation, for which he plans to make a sequel depending on the success of the sci-fi epic in theaters and on HBO Max October 22.

Villeneuve went on to say, “Just think of the golden age of Hollywood to see that commercial films can make a different artistic proposal and, therefore, political. I have never felt like a loss or an impediment to have a generous budget to do what I wanted to do. Upside down. Who said that a movie on a big budget can’t be artistically relevant at the same time? I am currently thinking of people like Christopher Nolan or Alfonso Cuarón.”

Villeneuve also recently told French outlet Premiere, “If we’re talking about Marvel, the thing is, all these films are made from the same mold. Some filmmakers can add a little color to it, but they’re all cast in the same factory. It doesn’t take anything away from the movies, but they are formatted.”

As for the future of “Dune: Part Two,” Villeneuve recently said, “If such a thing as ‘Dune: Part Two’ happens, I will say that it’s going to be an insane playground for me. … It’s going to be just like pure cinematic pleasure for the second part. I don’t want to speak for everybody on the team, but I will say that we really created on this movie a feeling of family and to re-unify everybody again together, that would be paradise.”

Insiders recently told Variety that the success of the movie on HBO Max, and not just the box office, will be a deciding factor in whether “Dune: Part Two” gets the green light from Warner Bros.

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