Earlier this year Martin Scorsese made headlines for his anti-Marvel comments. In the face of severe backlash, the renowned filmmaker is getting support from an unlikely source: Joker director Todd Phillips.
The subject was broached during The Hollywood Reporter’s Director Roundtable with industry heavyweights Phillips, Scorsese, Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig, Fernando Meirelles, and Lulu Wang. During the session Scorsese once again hone in on his stance, comparing Marvel-esque blockbusters to amusement park rides. Phillips then chimed in support of the director.
“Marty got a lot of heat for [what he said], but I understand it fully,” he said. “We were struggling to get Joker made, which sounds funny because it exists in the superhero world, but it’s really not one of those movies. We spent a year at Warner Bros., and I saw emails back and forth, literally, where they said, ‘Does he realize we sell Joker pajamas at Target?’ I go, ‘Didn’t movies come first and pajamas come second? Are the pajamas dictating the movies?'”
Scorsese agreed with Phillips’ critique that Marvel franchises are too focused on merch and hype over quality, saying, “Theme park rides. Pajamas. Slurpee cups. Whatever it is that you are selling off the back of movies, you can’t make your decisions based on that.”
You can check out the full Director Roundtable conversation here.