Another day, another filmmaker using superhero movies as a punching bag, and another outcry from fans over it. The latest is Dune director Denis Villeneuve, who accused the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies of being “cut and paste” blockbusters. The jab comes from the director of movies like Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, both of which earned rave critical reviews but failed to hit the lofty expectations of inflated box office returns. Those expectations were created, in part, by Marvel’s perennial success churning out billion-dollar mega-hits. The list of directors who have taken aim at Marvel is so long at this point, that it’s essentially impossible to recount them all.
Martin Scorsese’s frequent comments on the matter have made it headline news time and again. It’s a vicious cycle, because when an esteemed director like Scorsese or A History of Violence‘s David Cronenberg chime in on the topic, reporters then ask them about it in later interviews, leading to more comments.
To be fair to Villeneuve, he seems to have a little bit of perspective that some other filmmakers lack, saying that “there are too many Marvel movies that are nothing more than a cut and paste of others,” suggesting some level of distinction in his mind among the Marvel films. This reads more like a critique of the “Marvel method” that has been discussed f or making crowd-pleasing blockbusters than of superhero movies, or even Marvel movies, as a whole.
Still, that has not stopped fans from taking the criticism personally. Twitter is full of comments this morning taking shots at Villeneuve and his movies, or defending him and taking shots at Marvel. Of course, it’s unlikely he will see any of it, as he is already focused on the next thing.
Villeneuve spoke to Total Film recently about how optimistic he is that they will be able to make a Part Two for Dune.
“We have been hearing in the past few decades that it’s not possible to adapt this book, and that it’s an impossible task. I think that in the back of the mind of the studio, it’s still the same!” Villeneuve told Total Film. “So the first thing was to prove that there was a beautiful, popular movie that can exist, and I think that I proved that – everybody at Warner Bros and Legendary, they are 100 percent behind the project. They feel that it would need a really bad outcome at the box office to not have a Dune: Part Two, because they love the movie. They are proud of the movie, so they want the movie to move forward. And they still did half of it. So, you know, I’m very optimistic.”
You can check out some of the “discourse” below.