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Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Chadwick Boseman weigh in on Scorsese's Marvel comments

Photo: Chadwick Boseman and Chris Evans (Mark Ralston/AFP/ Getty Images; Scarlett Johansson (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Yesterday, we finally learned what Kevin Feige, a guy who makes Marvel movies, thinks about Martin Scorsese’s comments about Marvel movies putting a chokehold on the film industry. He disagrees! His comments come in the wake of defenses from industry titans like Bob Iger and Robert Downey Jr., and will now give way to even more from Marvel actors Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Chadwick Boseman, all of whom should be wholly trusted in their evaluations of the franchise that’s cemented them on Hollywood’s A-list.

Like Scorsese, Evans discusses the “chicken-and-egg” issue of franchise filmmaking in a new Variety chat with Johansson. “Did audiences only start going to lowbrow stuff, so that’s what we started making? Or is it that we made it first, and now that’s all we’re offered?” Good question! Johansson says she found Scorsese’s comments “old-fashioned,” “disappointing,” and “sad” at first, but that she came to understand the concern that smaller movies no longer have a place in cinemas due to these tentpole franchises. “It made me think about how people consume content now, and how there’s been this huge sea change with their viewing experience,” she said. Also a good point!

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But Evans, citing his upcoming Knives Out—a $40 million “indie” that Rian Johnson could only have made with the clout that comes with directing a hit Star Wars sequel—sidesteps the more existential questions with an optimistic take. “I think original content inspires creative content. I think new stuff is what keeps the creative wheel rolling. I just believe there’s room at the table for all of it.” Sounds great. Now we just need some “new stuff.”

Boseman, meanwhile, engages more directly with Scorsese’s comments. In a chat with BBC 5 Live (via The Independent), he insinuates that Scorsese might be leaning into the controversy to help promote The Irishman. “You’ve got to think about when he’s saying it,” Boseman said. “He’s saying it when he’s possibly campaigning for an award. He’s saying it at a time when he’s making a Netflix movie, so that’s how eyes get on his film, and it’s not going to be in the cinemas—it’s not going to be seen the best way.”

He goes on to discuss how Black Panther, in which he starred, brims with the “revelation, mystery, or genuine emotional danger” that Scorsese says is missing from Marvel’s slate. “The mystery that Scorsese is talking about is in Black Panther. If he saw it, he didn’t get that there was this feeling of not knowing what was going to happen that black people felt. We thought, you know, ‘White people will kill us off, so it’s a possibility that we could be gone.’ We felt that angst. We felt that thing you would feel from cinema when we watched it. That’s cultural. Maybe it’s generational.”

Will that mystery carry over into the sequel? A pillar of Marvel’s next phase, it arrives in 2022.

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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.