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(Credit: Gage Skidmore)

Taika Waititi laughs off Martin Scorsese's Marvel criticism: “Of course it’s cinema!”

Thor director Taika Waititi has become the latest person to defend the Marvel Universe against the negative comments made by acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese.

Scorsese, iconic director who is famed for his work on pictures such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas, was recently drawn into a conversation which asked for his opinion on the growing superhero franchise which has blown away previous box office records. Asked if he has been swept away in the surge of Marvel films, Scorsese replied: “I tried, you know?” in an interview with Esquire Magazine. “But that’s not cinema.”

He added: “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.”

Having once again found himself at the centre of widespread acclaim following the premiere of his latest film The Irishman at the London Film Festival, Scorsese doubled down in his criticism of Marvel by urging cinemas to stand up against the ‘invasion’ of superhero films. “The value of a film that is like a theme park film, for example, the Marvel pictures, where the theatres become amusement parks. That’s a different experience. It’s not cinema. It’s something else. Whether you go for it or not, it is something else. We shouldn’t be invaded by it,” Scorsese said after the premiere of his recent three-and-a-half-hour film. 

“And so, that’s a big issue. We need the theatre owners to step up for that. To allow theatres to show films that are narrative films. A narrative film can be one long take for three hours, you know? It doesn’t have to be a conventional beginning, middle, and end.” 

Now though, after both Samuel L. Jackson and James Gunn hit back at his comments, New Zealand filmmaker, actor, and comedian best known for  directing the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Thor: Ragnarok, has joined the party: “It’s too late for them to change the name to Marvel Tic Universe,” he said in an interview with AP Entertainment.

“Of course it’s cinema. It’s at the movies. It’s in cinemas…” he adds before turning his head to the camera and jokingly adds: “Near you!”

See the clip, below.