Quentin Tarantino Thinks Marvel Actors Are The Worst

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Quentin Tarantino thinks Marvel movies incorrectly put the focus on characters, rather than the actors who play them.

By Vic Medina
| Published

Oscar-winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has joined the list of film directors who dislike the effect of Marvel movies on Hollywood. While some directors take issue with the effect the comic book blockbusters have on filmmaking itself, the Pulp Fiction director believes the “Marvel-ization of Hollywood” has ruined the concept of the actor and movie stars. In an appearance on the 2 Bears, 1 Cave Podcast (and reported by Variety), Tarantino said the focus on iconic franchise characters has taken the focus away from the actor.

“You have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters,” Tarantino said in the podcast. “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.”

Those criticisms, from a lesser director, would likely be dismissed, but Tarantino makes a point, even at the expense of actors like Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth. The fact that Evans has been unable to escape the shadow of Captain America, three years after leaving the role in Avengers Endgame, seems to make Tarantino’s point. Despite finding success with roles in films like Knives Out, he is still dogged with questions about returning to the Marvel universe.

As many of his films have demonstrated, Quentin Taratino has a fondness for classic Hollywood and the golden age of movie stars. While he stresses that he has no personal issue with the actors themselves, he is concerned with how the “blockbuster mentality” of film franchises dominate the movie landscape, and how audiences prerceive them. “I’m not even putting them down frankly, to tell you the truth,” he says of Marvel actors. “But that is one of…the legacy of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood movies.”

Quentin Tarantino on the set

Despite the criticism, Quentin Tarantino still professes a love for comic book movies, and Marvel Comics in particular. He just doesn’t buy into the constant hype and publicity campaign that comes with them. “I used to collect Marvel comics like crazy when I was a kid,” he explains, but says his enthusiasm was limited to his youth. “I would totally be fucking happy (with comic book movies) and totally love them.”

He points out, however, that he prefers Hollywood diversify the types of films it makes, rather than concentrating on only making franchise comic book blockbusters. “They wouldn’t be the only movies being made,” he says of the way Hollywood used to be. “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.”

It makes sense, then, that Quentin Taratino isn’t interested in directing a Marvel film, stating he doesn’t want to be a “hired hand” for a studio. He also doesn’t seem to care for the fact that superhero movies seem to define our current era of film. “It’s just the fact that they are the entire representation of this era of movies right now. There’s not really much room for anything else. That’s my problem.”

Tarantino isn’t alone in his criticism of the Marvel method; Martin Scorsese famously stated that he didn’t consider comic book movies true cinema. James Cameron said they lacked the grounding elements of human emotion, and Ridley Scott says he never bought into the premise of superhero movies in general, so he never directed one.

Francis Ford Coppola agreed with Scorsese’s words, voicing his own dislike for current comic book films.

Ethan Hawke, who recently joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the Moon Knight series, stated that Marvel Studios works well with actors, but not so much with creative directors.

Tarantino’s words echo those made by Jennifer Aniston, who proclaimed recently there were “no more movie stars.” It’s obvious to see the disparity of approaches between Tarantino and Marvel. While Disney seeks out every possible A-list star for its Marvel films, Tarantino is famous for finding lesser-known actors or older actors past their “prime,” the type Marvel isn’t interested in. However, some actors from Tarantino’s films have found success in comic book blockbusters, including Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell.