Quentin Tarantino Decries the ‘Marvel-ization’ of Hollywood: MCU Actors Aren’t Movie Stars

"Captain America is the star. Or Thor is the star... it’s these franchise characters that become a star."
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 02: Quentin Tarantino speaks at Secret Network panel discussion during NFT.NYC at Neuehouse on November 02, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Quentin Tarantino
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Quentin Tarantino wants you to know he’s not a Marvel hater unlike some of his fellow filmmakers — ahem, Martin Scorsese — but he still has a few bones to pick with the MCU.

The topic came up as the “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” writer-director continues to make the press rounds promoting his new movie memoir “Cinema Speculation.” During a new episode of the “2 Bears, 1 Cave” podcast, Tarantino spoke about the “Marvel-ization” of Hollywood and how Marel’s output is driven by IP rather than star power. (via Mediate).

“Part of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood is…you have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters,” Tarantino said. “But they’re not movie stars. Right? Captain America is the star. Or Thor is the star. I mean, I’m not the first person to say that. I think that’s been said a zillion times…but it’s like, you know, it’s these franchise characters that become a star.”

By Tarantino’s definition, are actors like Chris Evans (the “Captain America” films) and Chris Hemsworth (the “Thor” movies) movie stars? In his view, they’re more ambassadors of IP than marquee draws themselves in the classic Hollywood sense. Though the “Pulp Fiction” director clarified, “I’m not even putting them down frankly, to tell you the truth. But that is … the legacy of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood movies.”

He also clarified that he by no means hates Marvel movies but resents that they’re all Hollywood seems to be interested in right now.

“I don’t love them. No, I don’t — I don’t hate them. All right. But I don’t love them. Right. I mean, look, I used to collect Marvel comics like crazy when I was a kid,” Tarantino said.

“There’s an aspect that if these movies were coming out when I was in my twenties, I would totally be fucking happy and totally love them. I mean, they wouldn’t be the only movies being made. They would be those movies amongst other movies. But, you know, I’m almost 60, so yeah. No, I’m not quite as excited about them,” he said.

Still, Tarantino is well-versed in the MCU, as back in 2019 he revealed that he did a Marvel Studios binge ahead of “Avengers: Endgame.” On a recent book tour stop for “Cinema Speculation,” he also named WWII comic “Sgt. Nick Fury & His Howling Commandos” as the Marvel property he’d like to adapt the most.

But Tarantino, who vows he will never make a Marvel movie, still takes issue with the MCU’s cultural ubiquity. “My only ax to grind against them is they’re the only things that seem to be made. 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.”

Finally, he said, “There’s not really much room for anything else. That’s my problem.”

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