‘Suicide Squad’ Director Can’t Decide if He Agrees with Martin Scorsese’s Critique of Comic Book Movies


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Writer/director James Gunn arrives for the premiere of "The Suicide Squad" at the Regency Village theatre in Westwood, California.Writer/director James Gunn arrives for the premiere of "The Suicide Squad" at the Regency Village theatre in Westwood, California.

Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Just days before his film Suicide Squad lands in theaters, James Gunn delivers a conflicted response to Scorcese’s comic book movie takedown.

As Suicide Squad approaches a long-awaited arrival, director James Gunn is having a hard time figuring out if he agrees with Martin Scorsese‘s damning take on comic book films.

In a new interview with Josh Horowitz on the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast, Gunn offered a conflicted response when probed about Scorsese’s remarks. “I just think it seems awfully cynical that he would keep coming out against Marvel,” Gunn tells the podcast host, claiming the iconic director blasted big-budget Marvel pictures to get publicity for his own work. “He’s creating his movie in the shadow of the Marvel films, and so he uses that to get attention for something he wasn’t getting as much attention as he wanted for,” Gunn adds.

But regarding the substance of the Casino director’s critique (that comic book movies don’t qualify as “cinema,”) Gunn sounds like he’s actually on team Scorcese. “There are a lot of things that are true about what he said,” Gunn admits. “There are a lot of heartless, soulless, spectacle films out there that don’t reflect what should be happening,” Gunn elaborates. “I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve talked to film directors before they went and made a big movie, and said, ‘Hey, we’re in this together, let’s do something different with these big movies. Let’s make them something different than everything that has come before them.’ And then see them cater to every single studio whim and be grossed out, frankly,” Gunn adds.

Back in 2019, when Scorsese’s comments first went viral, Gunn saw less in the director’s criticism. But two Marvel movies and a new DC title down the line, it seems the Suicide Squad director has changed his tune a bit.

Watch James Gunn try to figure out whether he agrees with Scorsese’s comic book movie takedown in a clip from the interview below. See Gunn’s latest film, The Suicide Squad, tomorrow night in theaters or via HBO Max.