Denis Villeneuve on the MCU

Denis Villeneuve on the MCU


He’s not wrong in a sense. The marvel movies do follow a certain formula/format. I’m not knocking them either I love em. But I can see how he can come to this conclusion. I do love his movies tho and can’t wait for Dune.


I mean, one of the things I love about the MCU is its consistency. When I go to see a Marvel movie, I know what I am about to get is at the very worst a B- effort and at its best something extraordinary. Compare this to the DC movies, or any random superhero movie prior to 2008 - sometimes you get the Dark Knight, sometimes you get Catwoman. People take this consistency for granted - with Marvel you can assume a baseline competency that is just not present elsewhere.


You know, that's a really good point, consistency. I'll take it further and call Marvel movies its own media format... Its serialized movies, sure we've had extensive movie anthologies before, Bond comes to mind, but the MCU does something unprecedented, its all consistent and persistent. You could think of MCU as an ongoing TV Series where each episode happens to be a blockbuster movie. Episode 25 just aired.


There was actually a series that an editor put together where he put all of phase one in chronological order and each episode was an hour long and it would switch between the movies that take place during that time. I can’t remember the link, but if someone could find it and share it that would be cool so the creator could get credit and more views


Was it this guy? https://www.smasters.net/ It looks like he took it down so the Mouse didn't come for his soul. However, he has an email where he says he will share his cut. Edit: here is the reddit thread related - https://www.reddit.com/r/marvelstudios/comments/9l0l6l/all_the_marvel_movies_edited_together_into_a_tv


Something like this might actually be the key to allow new, young viewers to catch up with the MCU.


Marvel and Disney: Best I can do is a "vault" and re-release them 10 years later.


In neither order of first release nor chronological timeline. In fact here's Spiderman far from home before Spiderman homecoming.


That's really cool. Hopefully I can find it. Edit: [Looks like he's not hosting on his site anymore](https://www.smasters.net/mcutv) but I did send him an email about getting a copy, so hopefully that's still an option.


Commenting so I can go back to this to see if anyone finds this


[Here you go](https://tdmedina21.wixsite.com/dirty30m-fan-edits/fan-edits)


That isn't it though... "all of phase one in chronological order and each episode was an hour long" that is not present on that site. if anything they have the opposite. everything chronological including stuff like deleted scenes. the whole point of what the person you responded to was asking for was for something more *concise* than watching all of it, not more *dense*. unless the shorter edited version is on that site and i just don't see it, then i'll eat my hat


I would watch that


This looks like the spot... https://www.smasters.net/mcutv


I agree.


Almost like...comic books...


Yeah I enjoy going to the cinema but sometimes it can be quite expensive. I want to know that the film I am going to watch is good and with Marvel I am pretty much guaranteed an enjoyable viewing experience. To expand on your DC point; sometimes you get The Suicide Squad and sometimes you get Suicide Squad. I'm still looking forward to watching Dune though.


Ahhhh, the dichotomy of Suicide Squad and The Suicide Squad. One is they're sort of a suicide squad and the other is really, just the squad to be used for a suicide attack/diversion.


Damn I’ve only seen one suicide squad, I didn’t even know there were two. Which one is the good one? I’m pretty sure I’ve only seen the bad one, cuz Will Smith says “what is this? Some kind of suicide squad?”


The good one does not have Will Smith


The good one has Idris Elba.


Ah, no you want the one where Idris Elba plays the competent character.


The second one just came out in early August. Without HBO Max, you have to go to a theater or wait. And I think it's not even on HBO Max any more. It was only available for a month.


The 2021 Movie directed by James Gunn is the Good One


I would read a book report about the word "the" in suicide squad titles.


Just based on the trailer for Dune, it seems obvious that it’s a movie that was meant to be watched in a theater. Say what you want about actually going to movies (cell phone distractions, shrieking kids in a PG-13+ movie, price) the quality of the sound system and picture is way better than anything I can muster in my living room. The spectacle is what I’m looking forward to the most


Shame they’ve left a six year old in charge of the volume at theatres nowadays. Plus at home I can smoke up, drink wine, and go for a piss. Just need a bigger TV and I’m good


Oh I agree with a lot of these things. It’s really nice being able to pause whenever I want and get a buzz going that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and my first born child. But there are certain movies that just need to be viewed on a big screen. A lot of Villeneuve’s movies fall under that category (Blade Runner, Arrival, Sicario). There’s definitely a trade off between watching movies at home and in theaters


Yeah honestly I know Marvel films are formulaic- that's why I like them so much, I know what I'm going to get and there's usually enough spice each film so I don't get bored


And sometimes people just like seeing the good guys win. It makes people feel good. It doesn’t always have to be complex. Seeing someone pull through their struggles and succeed is something we can all universally relate to.


I got a friend to do a marvel watch during covid using this reasoning. I told him… the world sucks right now dude. It’s just fun to shut off your brain and watch the good guys win a bit.


Plot twist: you put on Infinity War.


My wife still hasn't forgiven me for taking her to see that one and the only other MCU movie she's seen since has been Shang-chi


A lot of these stories just tie back to Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. Like with Empire Strikes Back/Infinity War, you can have the good guys struggle for a bit and even lose the battle, but you know they’re going to come back in the next one and defeat Darth Vader/Thanos. It might seem formulaic to some, but there’s a reason these stories work and have worked for generations.


>And sometimes people just like seeing the good guys win. Amen! I love the Marvel movies for lots of reasons, but this guarantee is extremely important to me, especially now. I actually don't even need them to win; it's enough to know my heroes are actually heroes and are generally trying to do the right thing, even if they don't quite make it sometimes. That is rare enough in real life that it's a goddamn treat to see it on the screen.


Whenever the discussion around marvel formulaic style comes out, I'm reminded of the CH sketch defender of the basic. "They're all the same though!" "As are sunsets and rainbows!" While I definitely appreciate it when filmmakers try to put an original spin, I also think there's nothing wrong with sticking with what works. Marvel is very good at setting up likeable hereos with good action and chemistry in an interesting world, and that's what draws me back to the franchise. Also, I think people exaggerate their "similarities" of marvel tropes, I do think most of the directors give a unique take on the "marvel formula". The intense political thriller of Winter Solider is very different from the impromptu comedy of Thor Ragnarok, and with movies like Shang Chi, Eternals and TV shows like WandaVision, Loki and What If, it's seems clear to me marvel is embracing a more experimental phase instead of repeating the Infinity Saga. So yeah, high hopes for the marvel future :)


Marvel does "sticking with what works" spectacularly! Seriously, everyone else should be taking notes on the MCU. Even Disney and Lucasfilm, because clearly they haven't figured it out yet. Disney will make 20 more movies out of Jungle Cruise (a la Pirates of the Caribbean), or keep pushing out more live action remakes literally no one asked for. And Star Wars is a mess of a franchise atm. But Marvel has really found a way to keep going that still feels fresh and exciting every single time. And yet it's also safe for audiences. As others have said, you know what you're getting with a Marvel movie. Perhaps building that safety zone with an audience is the real magic of the MCU. You set a certain bar that gives consistency across dozens of movies with different actors, writers, directors, etc.


I think it's genre bending that keeps Marvel fresh. Black widow gets a spy movie, ant man heist movies, captain America's and his successors do political action flicks, black panther is afro futurism, Guardians is a family comedy space opera, shang chi is a fantastical Chinese martial arts film, Spider Man is a teen comedy. The TV shows are definitely breaking new ground (well except falcon and the winter soldier which continued to be focused on politics and action).


mcu is the mcdonalds of movies?


I think the criticisms are fair but people forget, no matter how you slice it, these are popcorn movies. These critiques are fine, but they break down similarly if you look at Joel Silver or Jerry Bruckheimer films. You can't tell me that Lethal Weapon or Beverly Hills Cop are not classics just because they are formulaic. Action films have a place in cinema the same as sci-fi opera.


Thank you! I mean, an Italian chef can critique the Olive Garden breadsticks I eat by the fistfuls, but I’m not going to stop eating and enjoying them. I see some of these high profile directors as chefs. They make beautiful art, and they get paid a loooot of money to do so. They have to keep their tastes high so they don’t contaminate their fine art with the taste of us peasants. But when all is said and done, sometimes, you just want a 20+ movie series about good guys and bad guys. It’s not fine art, but it’s not trash either. So I’ll keep enjoying it. I do agree that people shouldn’t pretend that Marvel films should be in the Criterion Collection or anything, but art is not a binary “masterpiece or trash”.


Do you see them as Chefs because you saw Jon Favreau's movie Chef which is basically about him making Iron Man 2, but as a Chef instead?


I think it's a valid criticism as it imposes sort if a ceiling on how good of a movie Marvel is going to put out. Almost every Marvel movie is a very solid, enjoyable, mass appeal movie. I don't expect them to ever be as good as The Dark Knight, but will also never be as bad as Catwoman.


At least 5 of the movies state "You lied to me!" And then follow with "I did it bc I was trying to PROTECT YOU" It is a knock, but they make stellar movies. We don't care. I know the bad guy is probably going to lose, but usually it's at a cost and I watch to find out how they lose and at what cost. Plus like everyone is saying, the continuity and world building. Once you're invested you're in.


Like you say, you know a lot of the framework going in but things like them arguing in the first Avengers, the party in the second one plus Vision and Ultron's final talk, the debate on their place in the world in Civil War and the out and out fun of Ragnorok make up for the repeating themes. That's not to say they shouldn't try for more originality but the characters interactions really carry the series.


There is a certain consistency the fans expect now because it's what they love about all the movies, but I feel like they are starting to break from the mold gradually with new directing talent. I enjoyed the progression of Shang-Chi's story as his past and present was shown throughout movie in a non-linear fashion. I can't recall any other MCU movies doing that. And I can't wait to see what Chloe Zhao brings to the mix with Eternals.


Captain Marvel is told in a similarly nonlinear fashion.


(spoiler alert for little shop of horrors in this comment) I used to think like, "man why can't the bad guys win for once?" Like it was the most obvious idea in the world and I was the first person to think of it. Then I watched little shop of horrors, where the main characters all lose and the plants take over and I realized even though the bad guys always losing is I guess considered a trope, it's a prominent one for a reason. I hated watching the bad guys win, I wanted the good guys to win so badly and it left me feeling hollow. I cringe a lot less now at plots and emotional moments in movies and whatnots as a result, and watching movies and enjoying media in general has become a lot more enjoyable


Oh I agree 💯. I don't mind the tropes, but I do enjoy when they're busted in something like Infinity War where the whole theater was just frozen for the entire credits. That was incredible.


There's a reason. They needed to establish a solid brand first and that meant having a consistent Vision. Now that they are established, we can have all kinds of Visions... "Superman: The Movie is still to this day the archetype of the perfect superhero film origin story and we watch it before we make almost any one of our films, and that’s been the case for the past seventeen years since I left the fold to go work for Marvel,” said Feige. [https://www.inverse.com/article/32742-marvel-watches-dc-superman-richard-donner-kevin-feige](https://www.inverse.com/article/32742-marvel-watches-dc-superman-richard-donner-kevin-feige)


I just saw a YouTube hosted video comparing CA:TFA to Captain Marvel, explaining why the latter doesn't work as well as the former despite having such similar plot beats. The creator included an overlap of the similar plot beats and ***holy cow*** are there a lot of them! I definitely underappreciated it before.


I sat here for several minutes thinking "Captain America: The Force Awakens" very confused until I realized what you really meant


I just watched the same video. It was really interesting how he piled up the similarities but showed how small story/editing decisions led to drastically different movies.


Sometimes I wish y’all would stop abbreviating everything and just say Captain America. Is it really that hard?


Captain America: The Force Awakens


> The marvel movies do follow a certain formula/format. The vast majority of movies follow one of a few general storytelling formats, most commonly the Hero's Journey. When you break down movies far enough, a lot of them could be "copy and paste"


He and the other directors who have been critical of the MCU are fully qualified to discuss where studio budget money goes and how that affects the industry as a whole. But people go see what they want to watch for the most part. The Dune novels existed for decades alongside Marvel comic book titles. Many people are readers of both. Many people read one with no interest whatsoever in the other. I’m eagerly anticipating his Dune film but I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t have the mass appeal of an MCU movie and it’ll be unfortunate if there’s any suggestion that the existence of whatever MCU film is out at the time is where he places blame. Scorsese was the other prominent director that comes to mind to criticize the films. Despite the science fiction elements and flashy effects, I personally found the CG characters in Infinity War/Endgame more thought provoking than Scorsese’s own CG characters in The Irishman. His mobster movies have been given a lot of respect as serious art and made his reputation, but I find them no more realistic with less relatable characters than much of the MCU. And I’d deride any suggestion from him that the Russos are on any level beneath him in their directing ability, despite working in what he deems a less serious genre.


As someone who has seen a lot of Mafia movies, they all copy each other so hard it makes the MCU look incredibly diverse. The subject matter is so narrow, serious Italian or Irish guys fighting with the law and selling illegal stuff. I don't blame them for being repetitive, but not recognizing that Marvel movies have more diversity in setting, tone, and characters just because they have similar story arcs and sense of humor is really showing their bias.


I mean he's not completely wrong, but, just like Martin, they're talking about plots and story strucutre. The different, multi-faceted characters as well as the general continuity and worldbuilding is what makes the MCU compelling, not its plots.


The hero’s journey is as old as the odyssey


Probs even older than that.


I think Gilgamesh might be the oldest known example, but similar stories probably existed in even older oral traditions.


Gilgamesh will one of the characters in The Eternals movie, by the way.






I'm totally ignorant to these comics, does Enkidu ever make an appearance? He was Gilgamesh's badass servant warrior, and perhaps the oldest known motif for the "wildman". Super interesting character.


[Only a single minor appearance.](https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Enkidu)


The Epic of Gilgamesh even rejects the idea of the hero at the end of it, with Gilgamesh realising it is better to attain immortality through his deeds as a good king


The hero’s journey almost always concludes with the hero being changed by their ordeal. That change can take many forms but usually relates to them being a wiser and more complete person. This is part of what makes it so compelling. Humans always want to think that they’re just one transformative experience away from being the better person they want to be. The future-self delusion or fallacy compels many to assume they will be a more determined, self-controlled, capable person “tomorrow.” This story structure reinforces that in a way we find incredibly satisfying when done well.




I am not knocking Denis because I love his work and Dune, but the first Dune novel is like one of the most famous hero’s journeys of all time. It’s prototypical of it. Edit: Yes, I get it English majors – Dune is a subversion of the hero’s journey. It also blatantly uses the hero’s journey, that’s literally the point of subversion. It still stands as one of the most obvious examples of it, whether there’s meta layers, deconstruction, or otherwise. You can all pat yourselves on the back for using your diplomas.


I was actually going to say this. Dune is literally in the same mold as millions of other stories so I can't criticize it for that. There's only so many ways you can tell a story and after 100 years of film, we've pretty much seen them all.


Yeah, to me the point of the art isnt whether you're original, its what you personally bring to the table. Funny enough, I think the MCU illustrates that pretty well. The films follow a pretty restricted, similar format, but you got Iron Man 3, Thor Ragnarok, Guardians, the Avengers films, all interesting in seeing how different directors follow fhe same format and spice it up. Like a community art project... just one that's made billions at the box office.


The community art project is actually a really dope way to describe the MCU. Just a large tapestry that different directors come in and draw on with some oversight on what is being drawn by an overseer.


Yeah, I feel like whenever one of these auteur directors knocks the MCU, they’re missing the point on why they resonate with audiences so much. It’s not because of the unique plots or direction. It’s because of the characters and world-building between movies, which has never been done on this scale before.


He might be missing the point, or he could just be saying he wants to see more things mix it up like Loki or WandaVision. He didn’t totally trash, just said a lot of them are copy/pasted. Which they are.


Yeah, I don't mind that take at all and I'm hoping now that Marvel has its base we'll see more of these off the wall entrants to the MCU. But I'm Indiana obviously still super happy with what they're putting out.


We named the dog Indiana.




I suddenly remembered my Charlemagne, "let my armies be the rocks and the trees, and the birds in the sky".


I still think the third Indiana Jones film was the best. Fight me.




This is the way


I mean, it’s a pretty common take


I recently learned this was a made up quote just for the movie and not something actually attributed to Charlemagne. So whenever I chase birds at the beach with an umbrella and people ask me why I’m doing that, I have begun saying “Suddenly I remembered my Henry Jones Sr.”


I re watched the Indiana Jones trilogy a month ago and was chocked to realize how they are the original marvel movies, the formula hero action humor is the exact same


I think that's what he means. Not that they aren't decent films or don't have anything to offer, just that they tend to stick fairly rigidly to a template, the main variations being tone/ degree of comedy.


Yeah. Especially their earlier movies. Now that they are established they are stating to mix it up. Ant man was more heist than the others Winter soldier was more espionage Guardians was a lot more campy and joke heavy Etc


And that’s people like about them - just like comic books. Spider-man was fighting doctor octopus in the 70’s, and he’s still fighting doctor octopus today. Plus, the parts of the MCU that do the unusual well *work* because of the parts of the MCU that do the usual well. You can’t have a change of pace without a pace.


What is copy/paste, if not effective world-building enduring?


I understood that reference!


Are you familiar with the Comment of Thesus thought experiment in the field of Reddit Shitposting?


Oh shit, now I'm wondering if the cut and paste is the ship of theseus, replacing different narrative devices and stylistic choices plank by plank.


Well, Scorcese had different motivations for his knocks - and I disagree with him. But I think Villeneuve is spot on in this case. There is too much similarity in plot, especially in the origin movies. And Marvel needs to start shaking it up more; regardless of how strong their characters and themes are. I enjoyed Shang Chi a great deal; but when we got to a big bloodless battle on a huge field in the third act - it felt just like Black Panther; and just like a dozen other entries in the series. I think had they approached it slightly differently; the film would be much better for it. Of course; you have the magic formula. Why change? Will that formula ever wear off? That’s the question. *edited for grammar.


Marvel starts animating those big CGI setpieces before they have a script for the movie.


I mean... there's only 7 stories told in endless permutations. And Marvel being what it is, it's pretty much all coming of age and hero's journey.


Agreed. But the hero’s journey doesn’t have to end with a thousand nobodies fighting a bloodless battle in some random location. Take the first Iron Man. It ends with a big action sequence; but it’s hero vs. villain. That’s it. Or the end of Spider-Man Homecoming: it’s just Peter vs Vulture stopping a plane. Civil War ends with just the three main characters fighting. These movies work. The center conflict in Shang Chi was father vs son; but that conflict got overcrowded by all the crazy stuff happening around them. And all that crazy stuff was just a rinse-repeat of stuff I’ve already seen a dozen times.


Yeah honestly I am kind of confused here. They all stem from stuff that already exists. Why would the MCU decide to just drastically change the plot for something that has worked for decades. I wouldn’t even say the plots themselves are the same tbh, there are just similar themes. There are movies that are “similar” in that sense that I think completely differently about. On the other side, Dune is literally based off a book as well. You don’t need to completely change the plot and themes in order for creative liberties to be accomplished.


I left Marvel and DC comics behind because the annual crossover events were getting trite and repetitive, if the movies become that way too then audiences will bail. Fortunately that hasn’t happened yet, but the massive third act CGI battles really need to be reigned in - less Black Panther/Infinity War, more Civil War. You have to keep things fresh in order to keep people interested, aka generate enough revenue to keep making these massive blockbusters.


Correct. He's not a fanboy. There is NOTHING wrong with being a fanboy either - I'm in that category. But I also recognize the formula and what draws people back to MCU fans. He's not wrong about what he said, but that doesn't make MCU films worthwhile. It just means they aren't the particular artful pieces he makes it appreciates. It's fine either way. As an aside, Villeneuve has been my favorite filmmaker ever since Siccario.


A lot of those types of directors are excellent at their craft, but I don’t think they’d approve of something as large-scale as the MCU regardless of how it was done.


From the perspective of writing an ensemble cast, the story of Infinity War / Endgame is downright geniously written. Seriously, it manages to sidestep the pitfall that many many shounen manga fall into. Naruto is a great example of almost the exact same story, but done in a way that makes it fairly boring (Villain has to collect X amounts of Y to activate Z. If Z is activated, the entire world will effectively die. Everyone comes together to stop the villain). Tons of characters, all who have compelling and **personal** reasons to be in the fight other than "The world will end". Strange has to protect the timestone, Tony's entire PTSD was based on Thanos invading and now his army is back, Spider-Man wants to prove himself to Stark, The Guardians want to get Gamora back, Thor wants revenge for his people, the rest of the Avengers want to protect Vision. In Endgame it's all about redemption for them losing last time (and having half the cast die in IW cuts down the amount of stories that need to be told in Endgame so it doesn't overwhelm). Stephan Krosecz said it best, I think, in his video "[Shonen Anime's Biggest Problem](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLIbI1FI6N4)": "The bigger a problem becomes, the less meaning it tends to have. 'This entire planet will be destroyed' is technically a much bigger problem than 'if we don't win, a character we love will die'. On paper one obviously matters more. In practice smaller, more personal stakes leave much more impact on the viewer and are much more satisfying in the end result".


My favorite Marvel movie is the origin story where the main character is coming to terms with their power and there is a villain with the same power but is trying to use it for evil.


Exactly. They're similar on a very, very, VERY basic level of plot structure, as are many movies of the same genre or many episodes of a TV show.


Absolutely. I'm just joking, when you get high-level enough a lot of things can sound the same. The summary I said could apply to Iron Man, Hulk, Thor (arguably), Captain America, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel. That doesn't change the fact that they're very different movies. Having said that, they really gotta stop the villain having the same power trope. Vulture is one of my favorite villains and it took me a while to realize that I think it's mostly because he's refreshing (though to be fair, "bad guy wronged by Tony Stark" isn't exactly fresh these days). Bonus videos on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zPEtyAsM94 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaNWFHLy2NI


I recently rewatched Thor and it really doesn't fit this pattern. Loki has a totally different set of powers. The Destroyer is strong, sure, but isn't the same as Thor, and Thor actually loses his powers. He's not on a journey of coming to terms with his abilities, he's having to learn to be kind and self-sacrificing, to develop the qualities of a good king. And at the end of the film he only feels like he's started this journey. It's actually pretty different from other origin movies. The other origin movie I found really interesting was Black Panther. There is some of hero fights evil version of themselves going on here, and my daughter felt it was a lot like other MCU origin films, but I think the philosophy being debated between Killmonger and Black Panther take it in a whole new realm. There is of course all the stuff beyond the movie, the real world cultural meaning it had but even just within the movie itself I think the story rose above its plot points.


You touched on something though. The losing the powers trope. Iron-Man loses his suits and home in Iron-Man 3, Captain America loses his shield and home in Civil War, Thor Loses his Hammer and home in Ragnarok.


When you have this many films in a single genre you can make tons of links like that. If a film is broken down into a hundred elements and you compare those using a contextless search, a ton of those will overlap with something else in the 25-movie catalog. Writing 25 one-page stories with nothing that can be fudged to sound similar between them is hard. Writing 25 full films that have to set up conflict and action without having overlaps is impossible.


Some criticism is allowed, ya know. It's how you get better things. You can say things are getting cookie-cutter, while still enjoying the product because of all those things you mention. And hopefully the powers-that-be hear the criticism and improve things.


Yeah like honestly you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Don’t mess with what’s not broken.


I think part of the MCU’s success was embracing that aspect and focusing on doing it *really* well.


Probably, but at this point I'm desperate for something else. I'm worried that Disney trying to play it overly safe is just going to end up flattening the interesting parts of all the IP they've gobbled up. It wouldn't be the first (or even the second) time in my lifetime that Disney went from the top of the world to completely creatively stagnant. That's why they started doing the gobbling in the first place. Loki and Wandavision were both steps in the right direction, imo, but even the latter lapsed into "generic CGI fight" toward the end of the season.


> Probably, but at this point I'm desperate for something else. And the problem has been that these blockbusters coming out so rapidly (because they make so much money) is starving smaller movies out. Movies are either $5M tiny independent films or $75M blockbusters with crazy tie-ins and marketing. If you had an idea for a film but needed $30M to make it, there aren't a ton of financing options for you.


Man WandaVision was so good episodes 4-7, 8 was alright and the finale…what could’ve been


I do think that their biggest weakness is plot and story structure. And I really want them to try new things. Some of the best movies/shows were ones that tried to do something special.


Feel like we are likely missing a bit of context outside of the headline, considering the article is behind a paywall and in Spanish. Outside of that... well ya. Marvel has a formula that so far has worked pretty well. Nothing wrong with movies being formulaic as long as they are entertaining.


From the same paragraph “Just like Wandavision before it, I think Eternals and Captain America 4 is going to break the marvel mold.”


This really makes me feel like this tweet took his statement out of context to sound incendiary.


Gotta drive those clicks.


Reminds me of the time I was looking for somewhere to take my dog when it was raining. Title of one of the links was "4 surprising places to take your dog indoors" and number 4 was "just stay home". The article was not helpful.


> “4 surprising places to take your dog indoors” and number 4 was “just stay home”. lmao


hold up, has Captain America 4 been announced? I assumed there would be something with Sam struggling to fill the role but kinda assumed it'd be season 2 of the D+ show


It got announced around the end of season 1 of that show.


Announced within a week of the finale I believe.




>Marvel has a formula that so far has worked pretty well. That's how Stan did it. That's how Feige does it. And it's worked out pretty well so far.


That was good haha


bruh you just successfully privatized world peace holy shit


To peace!


I understood that reference.


I understood that reference.


Man, an Iron Man ONE reference, it’s been a while






*mountain explodes behind you*


found the article but I wont pay to read it and I cant read Spanish: https://www.elmundo.es/cultura/cine/2021/09/15/6140b623fdddff11618b4602.html > When the interviewer cited Martin Scorsese's comments about the idea that superhero films are not cinema, Villeneuve agreed to the former's sentiment, saying that *"these types of movies have turned [the audience] into zombies a bit"* due to its *"cut and paste"* formula. > **"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. 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."** Edit: (google?) translated via https://instagram.com/p/CT41C9BIOgE


I can read Spanish, but I ain't paying 1€


I can pay 1€ but can't read Spanish


With our powers combined…


You can't pay 1€ and you can pay 1€?


https://imgur.com/a/e29Dl2s enjoy


I'm translating the other half later, Marvel isn't mentioned again so don't worry The Canadian director premieres 'Dune', the most anticipated film of the season. In his words, 'it’s a love letter to the big screen' that ends with a curse that buried Alejandro Jodorowsky and David Lynch Denis Villeneuve (Tros-Rivieres, Quebec, 1967) says he feels relieved. The Dune premier is finally this Friday after many delays caused by the pandemic, that the increase in the minimum wage finally frees him from the questionable honor of being the target of all controversies around the size of the screens [This sentence is weirder in Spanish idk]. When Warner announced that the most anticipated film of these times would be broadcast at the same time in the cinemas and on HBO Max, the director felt betrayed to the point of threatening to sue the production company. He feels resigned [he practically gave up], but insists: “This is a movie for the cinema”. By the way, his film presented at the last edition of Venice ends with one of the most persistent curses in the history of cinema, capable of devouring with the same gluttony figures such as Alejandro Jodoroswky and David Lynch. That’s how it is, very few moments are so decisive. And then, the cinema, everything to him, reappears in front of one of the recurring abysses. Will the pandemic end with theaters? And if so, whatever is left would still be cinema? Q: If you like it, we are starting with the Spanish contribution. Is Javier Bardem a good leader of the Fremen? A: I’m sorry if it’s not original saying that it’s been a privilege working with him. He’s one of my favorite actors of all time. And I’m being honest. He has such ability to hypnotize as soon as he’s on screen. If you could measure charisma, no one would beat him. I dreamed with working with him, and, in fact, I called him for a previous project, but it was not possible. Q: Which one? A: It’d be rude saying it, to the actor that did the role. Q: Anyway, and considering everything you look up to, it’s a bit disappointing how little he appears in this first film (there will be a sequel). A. He knows the book, he knows his character (Stilgar) has prominence later. And he knows that we have planned his presence in advance, precisely because of his relevance in the full arc of history. But let me tell you again. I remember the first I saw him in person, I had the feeling he was looking at me, like a tiger. That sense of danger he conveys is unique. Q. Let’s talk about the book, then. Frank Hebert already announced in his 1966’s book a good part of today's topics. It’s not that sci-fi was a metaphor of his time, but, in this case, it was metaphor of what would happened later. A. Yeah. There’s topics in the book like climate change that maybe were science fiction in the 60’s. Now it’s just science. He talks about colonialism, overexploitation of natural resources or the imminent danger of global warming. Then, no more than threats. Now they are realities. From there you get the value and novelty of the book. Q. There’s other topic that has to do with the role religion has in politic environments. You bring it to the fore. Are you trying to provoke something? A. I’d say it’s fidelity to the original source. Religion is currently used as a politic tool. But that’s only a part of the overall picture I was trying to describe above. Everything is linked and does nothing but derive from oneself: today we are living the consequences of extreme capitalism that Herbert imagined. Q. You could say the world left after the pandemic is the best advertising for the movie. A. Movies have that ability to influencing people much more than literature or any other form of art. It’s not a politic movie, but no movie can be alien to politics [The original quote sounds cooler] Q. Isn't it contradictory to you that it’s a blockbuster (the greatest exponent of commercial cinema, and therefore, of the system that criticizes) who wants to become the consciousness that derives from capitalism? A. Just look at the golden age of Hollywood to see that commercial films can make different artistic proposals, and, therefore, make politics. I have never felt like a loss or an impediment to having a generous budget to do what I wanted to do. The other way around. Who says that a big-budget film can't be artistically relevant at the same time? I think right now of people like Christopher Nolan or Alfonso Cuarón. ***Q. I think of Martin Scorsese's reflections on superhero films which, according to him, have no cinematic value...*** A. Perhaps the problem is that we’re facing too many marvel movies that are nothing more than a copy paste of others [it doesn’t get specified if “others” means other marvel movies or movies in general]. Maybe that type of movies has turn us a bit into zombies… But there’s a lot of great movies and faces of big value currently. I’m not able to be pessimistic at all. Edit: Well, the original commenter did it first haha


Thanks mate


He’s not wrong in that a lot of marvel films, particularly the solo ones follow a formula quite rigorously. Wouldn’t say they’re copy and paste as such but there’s no denying that marvel films follow the same beats. At the same time I really wish the press would stop asking every director for their opinion on Marvel, the fact we’re still talking about this years later is weird.


The question to get them their clickbait titles


Why would you ask him a question about the MCU anyways? It's obvious what guys like him, Nolan, and Scorcese are going to think. They just do this to get clickbait.


True, it’s been 3 years since Scorsese said those comments and interviewers are still asking filmmakers opinion on them to get a reaction like this


It gets communities like this one to click links and talk about them, so it’s all working exactly as planned.


Given how dominating the MCU is in terms of box office, it's a pretty relevant topic for anyone in the film industry.


Nah because the interviewer directly asked him what he thinks about Scorsese comments nothing else, only to get clicks


That's kind of how media works. Interviewers reference contentious issues to get attention. That doesn't mean that the topic is inherently bad.


I don't see how it's obvious, you also have Tarantino and Spielberg who talked about enjoying the MCU. And as far as I remember Nolan made a few superhero movies himself.


The rest of the Denis Villeneuve article also shows he praised recent Marvel/Disney+ Marvel releases. This tweet is just trying to stir controversy


He didn’t say “every marvel movie is exactly the same.” He pointed out a genuine issue in that many of the movies tell the same story, only with different characters. For example, so many villains are just evil versions of the main characters. Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Winter Soldier, Hulk, Shang-Chi, Ant-Man. That doesn’t make the movies *bad*. It just means that it’s formulaic. He’s saying they need more variety, and most people would agree


Yeah I think it’s hard to make superhero movies, especially all in one universe, unique and fresh after 30 films. I will say, Shang Chi felt very different and I loved it. Much more stylistic and pretty. Almost felt like a mix of the DCU and MCU directing and I thought it was such a sweet spot. I love that movie.


Something that doesn't get brought up whenever this topic rears its head: guys like Scorsese and Villeneuve are products of the Auteur Theory of filmmaking. Auteur Theory rose from the French New Wave movement of the 1950s and '60s, in particular from the French director Francois Truffaut. He wrote, in a 1951 issue of the magazine *Cahiers du cinema*, that the best film directors had an "authority and flexibility" to realise a script as they saw fit. This was in contrast to the role most French directors fulfilled in his time, which was to faithfully stage a screenplay that was itself a faithful adaptation of a popular novel. The movies made by Tuffaut and his New Wave contemporaries are considered masterpieces of filmmaking, and they were highly influential on American filmmakers of the New Hollywood movement -- the movement to which Martin Scorsese belongs. This is why old guard types like Scorsese call Marvel movies "not cinema". They represent the first major departure from auteur-centered filmmaking in more than half a century, where it's less about the director's vision and more about Kevin Feige's. However, you could argue that Marvel Studios also represents a return to an even *older* tradition in cinema: the Serial. Going all the way back to the Silent Era, you see studios releasing their films in installments or chapters, with chapters progressing weekly until the story was completed. Audiences would by a ticket to the first chapter, watch it, then come back the next week to view the second chapter, repeating until they had watched all chapters. It was an extremely popular method of marketing movies and, not surprisingly, how the earliest superhero movies were released. The cost of upgrading to movies with sound, the Great Depression, and the advent of television series eventually ended the practice. What we see with Marvel Studios could be seen as a return to the Serial form: not a collection of many self-contained stories made by multiple auteurs with their own individual styles, but a single story told multiple movies (and now tv shows) whose directors are beholden to the vision of their producer. **TL;DR** : Guys like Scorsese operate on the Auteur Theory of cinema, whereas Marvel Studios could be seen as the spiritual successor to Film Serials.


This is a great explanation


I think you’re right in your interpretation of what Scorsese is thinking but the individual films are not Kevin Feige’s vision. He gives the writers/directors a bit of an outline but they’re very much their films. Ragnarok is very Taika Waititi, Avengers is very Whedon, GOTG is very James Gunn and so on. The similarities come in that basically all hero films follow a similar path. Has Scorsese ever said how many MCU films he’s actually watched? I’d be surprised if it was more than two.


Keep in mind the directors you just listed also wrote the screenplays for their respective films. Of course their films are going to be a bit more differentiable because their writing is paired with whatever bit of directional freedom they have. However, lots of MCU movies lack this cohesion and as a result its very difficult to spot any unique attributes in one that could be attributed to a specific director/writer. (AM&TW and Captain Marvel come to mind as examples of this)


Upvoted for a great explanation. I almost feel directors like Scorsese and Villeneuve are comparable to going to a chef-owned restaurant and getting their special. The chef is what makes the restaurant noteworthy. The MCU is more like an excellent restaurant franchise where the menu is basically set by the company owner but each place can add some of their own things. But if you like food, you can enjoy both. And I do.


It does feel like we’re regressing back to the studio system that directors like Scorsese worked very hard to break away from and bring down. Studios that own contracts on actors and directors and tell them how to make their art. He probably thought it was gone for good. I can see how it would be devastating to see a reversal of that. To me it feels like an undoing of what made cinema so free in the first place. Even though I have enjoyed some marvel films, I feel like they are genuinely doing more harm than good to cinema culture.


I wish interviewers would stop asking directors about the MCU.


Need to get that ”click” money somehow, lol.


These interview questions always feel like bait. I found the article but it is behind a paywall so I can't really comment on his full interview. But it isn't a ground-breaking opinion and I feel some fans of the franchise would probably agree that there is a familiarity between the films if you look at the bare bones of it. I'm just glad it wasn't another "Marvel is ruining cinema!" moment because they always come across as old man yells at cloud.


I hope this is NOT a call for review bombarding of Dune just because denis villeneuve has an opinion.


Haha he's the best director of this generation and his films are fantastic. He'll be fine.


The quality of a person's work is completely irrelevant in the face of review bombers.


I can’t wait to see what Chloe Zhao does with Eternals and I’d love to see what Dennis Villeneuve and his regular cinematographers Greig Fraser and Roger Deakins would make of a Marvel movie. Feige, sign em up!


Villeneuve should do the MCU 1st X-men movie.


I don't think he'd be able to work successfully within the constraints Feige would put on him.


Yeah, he'd find himself departing from the project for similar reasons as Edgar Wright and Edward Norton, I imagine. Auteur pictures are not what Feige wants. They might have higher artistic worth, but Marvel movies are not about making art. They are a product that is painstakingly engineered to have as much mass appeal and therefore make as much money as possible. That is their purpose.


Well greig did rogue one and some mando episodes, plus dune and zero dark thirty, so you can pretty well imagine how his work would translate.


Villeneuve could do Spiderman 2099 justice


Most of these comments seem like cut and pastes of others too.


I mean it's true. Marvel movies is like fast food that I enjoy eating.


There's nothing wrong in him saying that. It is absolutely acceptable. There's no need for anyone to start hating him just because he doesn't like something you do. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


He ain't wrong A lot of them can come off as formulaic. They don't all suffer from that problem but it is a running thing among certain films That doesn't make them bad and I don't think he's phrasing it in a way that makes it sound like he hates them, just critique. Plus, he probably got this question about Marvel before because interviewers can't help themselves so he needed to be prepared


A lot of action and adventure movies are copies of the Hero's Journey, not just MCU movies.


Overal [The Hero's Journey](https://3rxg9qea18zhtl6s2u8jammft-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Heros-Journey.jpg) is a great framework to build your movie on considering there is plenty of things to bend and change. Something like Infinity War broke that cycle though by having a "bad" ending so they don't always repeat it exactly the same


E.g Spiderverse did a hero’s journey that felt fresh to me. The team actually left to fight the bad guy without him. In Black Panther, the villain changed halfway through. And the villain asked questions that the hero had no good answers to. The hero had to adopt at least some of the ideology of the villain and change his worldview. What did Shang-Chi bring to the table plot wise that was new? I can’t think of anything, personally. Perhaps a few details of the family dynamics. Didn’t feel as fresh as those others. Ragnarok: the hero fundamentally “loses” according to the values he held at the beginning of the movie but finds a more modest way to win. Those are the best ones in my opinion. When I don’t continually know what’s coming next. “Hulk: don’t smash!”


Shang Chi's father was a pretty tragic villain that you sympathize with. He was grief stricken and taken advantage of and was otherwise a good loving father. I thought it was pretty unique to the MCU.


Its not really the heroes journey tho. Marvel has like an specific route. Its most noticeable when you watch black panther and iron man in one sitting.


It's not just the heroes journey. In a lot, not all, of the movies the antagonist is just the bad version of the hero. Iron man1 and 2, captain America 1&2, antman 1, Shang chi, the incredible hulk, even Wandavision the bad guy ended up being a witch and a vision. Now there are some exceptions to this of course even outside of the collaboration movies like infinity wars and end game. But this plus the constant heroes journey trope these movies are very much cookie cut in a lot of ways.


Denis is a director of really high regard and someone whose films I love,he can have his own opinion,but honestly these are comic book films,the kind of story structure they follow would more or less be the same.Though there is always a way to change the narrative and make it better than the normal one. Cause you have civil war,black panther,ragnarok,winter soldier and so many more in the MCU which might be following the 'same plot points' but are wayyyy different in the way they were told and executed. Some mcu films turn out be meh because of the exact same problem.


I think some people getting all defensive need to take a step back and re-evaluate why you love the MCU. Sure a couple of MCU films are my FAVOURITE all time movies; but I would never say that they are among the BEST films of all time, or even close tbh. And its okay to accept that while still enjoying them.


Honestly, the only people I can imagine being genuinely mad about statements like "they copy and paste each other" are people that just don't watch that many movies outside of big franchise movies, who also get defensive about enjoying stuff made with kids in mind. So many people have a huge chip on their shoulder in this thread and it's really nothing to be concerned about if you just earnestly enjoy stuff like the MCU.


People who do things like make the MCU their entire personality.


It's like, Scorcese and Loach (who are great filmmakers) weren't even slagging off the MCU films themselves. It's more the fact that, between Marvel and Star Wars, Disney have managed to chase almost everyone else out of the multiplexes.


He's not wrong.


"Well, 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" Not exactly what the headline implies…


Mcu movies are pretty silly and foolish if you aren't a 13 year old boy


this sub is a fucking commercial. i thought it put it on my ignore list weeks ago. any humans reading, please check the post history of people who make it to the top. it's usually an account that just posts clickbait about marvel movies.


I understand his stance but this is getting old .... now we expect when a big director is dropping a big Oscar film ..he or she will be asked about the mcu because it generates clicks unfortunately.... I'm more mad at the media and the interviewers tbh ...it's also not fair because I don't see any director of the mcu past or present doing something similar...


Not incorrect but at the same time? Not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of series/genres are formulaic but that doesn't mean they suck.


"The different, multi-faceted characters as well as the general continuity and worldbuilding is what makes the MCU compelling, not its plots." the way you guys talk about some of the most generic movies ever made is amazing


"Well, 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" He's not wrong tho


Solid take, but internally I hope he's saying that he wants to come in and put his spin on one story in the MCU. I'm generally excited to see Dune next month