Martin Scorsese Says the Danger of Franchise and Comic Book Movies Is ‘What It’s Doing to Our Culture’

Martin Scorsese

LOS ANGELES - AUG 11: Martin Scorsese arriving to Emmy Awards 2011 on August 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA (Editorial credit: DFree /

Martin Scorsese Voices Concerns Over Proliferation of Franchise and Comic Book Movies.

Renowned filmmaker Martin Scorsese remains critical of the prevalence of comic book movies, particularly the saturation of franchise films in today's cinematic landscape. In a recent feature in GQ, Scorsese disclosed that Warner Bros. initially contemplated turning "The Departed" into a franchise, suggesting the survival of either Matt Damon or Leonardo DiCaprio's character for potential sequels. This proposition deeply unsettled Scorsese then and continues to do so now.

Scorsese's apprehension lies in the dominance of franchise productions, which he believes are eclipsing a diverse range of cinematic offerings, thereby conditioning audiences to anticipate primarily comic book adaptations and franchise installments when visiting the cinema.

"There are going to be generations now that think movies are only those — that’s what movies are," he lamented.

While acknowledging this sentiment is already prevalent, Scorsese asserts that filmmakers must rally and assert themselves. He advocates for a grassroots movement, championing voices like the Safdie brothers and Chris Nolan to challenge the status quo and uphold the diversity of cinematic storytelling.

Despite Christopher Nolan's involvement in the "Batman" trilogy, he stands out as one of the select few directors who secures substantial budgets from major studios to produce original, non-franchise works like "Inception" and "Oppenheimer."

Scorsese encourages filmmakers to embark on innovative journeys, urging them not to lament the current state of affairs but to take proactive steps in revitalizing the art of cinema.

The Academy Award-winning director of "Killers of the Flower Moon" clarified that his definition of "cinema" encompasses a broad spectrum of genres, citing the comedy classic "Some Like It Hot" as a prime example. However, he distinguishes between genuine cinematic creations and what he terms "manufactured content." He expounds on this, likening it to a film created by artificial intelligence. Scorsese quickly acknowledges the brilliance of directors and visual effects artists in crafting visually stunning works. Still, he raises the essential question: What profound impact do these films leave on the viewer, beyond a momentary consummation, before swiftly fading from memory and consciousness?

In Scorsese's eyes, it is a matter of preserving the essence and magic of cinema itself.

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