STAR WARS Creator George Lucas Breaks Silence On Martin Scorsese Saying Marvel Movies Aren't "Cinema"

STAR WARS Creator George Lucas Breaks Silence On Martin Scorsese Saying Marvel Movies Aren't "Cinema" STAR WARS Creator George Lucas Breaks Silence On Martin Scorsese Saying Marvel Movies Aren't "Cinema"

Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator George Lucas has responded to Martin Scorsese's belief that Marvel movies aren't "cinema" while sharing his own take on the current state of Hollywood. Check it out!

By JoshWilding - May 25, 2024 03:05 AM EST
Filed Under: Marvel Studios

In 2019, filmmaker Martin Scorsese opened a can of worms when he decided to make the declaration that superhero movies are not "cinema." 

The past five years have seen countless writers, directors, and actors hit back at his comments, while plenty of others have rallied around Scorsese and agreed with his appraisal. Which camp does legendary Star Wars creator George Lucas fall into?

In a rare interview conducted at Cannes this week, Lucas was asked for his thoughts on Scorsese's scathing take on superhero fare (the topic turns to Marvel around the 8:00 mark in the video below).

"Look. Cinema is the art of a moving image," he responded. "So if the image moves, then it's cinema. I think Marty has kind of changed his mind a little bit." Lucas then shifted gears to talk about how he pioneered digital film and the fact many directors, Scorsese included, were initially adamant that he was doing the wrong thing.

While Lucas stopped short of sharing his thoughts on Marvel fare (saying "if the images movies, then it's cinema" may or may not be telling), he did offer a no-holds-barred assessment of Hollywood's current output elsewhere in this conversation.

"The stories they're telling are just old movies," he said. "'Let's do a sequel, let's do another version of this movie' There's no original thinking. The big studios, they don't have an imagination." 

However, those of you hoping Lucas, who also created Indiana Jones, will step behind the camera to right the ship will likely be disappointed. 

"No, I'm retired," he confirmed. "The last one I did as a producer was a thing called Strange Magic, which is an animated film. So I was doing movies that I wanted to do rather than...I was financing myself and had my own studio. I am building a museum in Los Angeles. It's keeping me very busy."

It's always fascinating to hear from Lucas and we'll be bringing you his thoughts on Disney's Star Wars movies soon. We'd be shocked if he doesn't appreciate Marvel movies from a technical standpoint (without Jar Jar Binks, there would be no Thanos) but whether he's a fan of the MCU remains up for debate.

Check out the full interview below.

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IAmAHoot - 5/25/2024, 4:04 AM
You're not chummy enough with the gentleman to just use "Martin" in the headline.
Snow43214 - 5/25/2024, 5:41 AM
@IAmAHoot - lmao, good old Marty
Tidaltree - 5/25/2024, 5:47 AM
@IAmAHoot - Thought about George R.R. voicing his opinion ...
SauronthePower - 5/25/2024, 7:48 AM
@IAmAHoot - BOOM!

And there it is!

First rule of 2nd grade non-fiction compositional writing: you never refer to a person by their first name unless you are on a personalized basis with them
ReverseFlasher - 5/25/2024, 10:39 AM
@IAmAHoot - Lucas finally giving his opinion on Martin Lawrences classic 90s tv series
Th3Batman - 5/25/2024, 4:11 AM
"'Let's do a sequel, let's do another version of this movie' There's no original thinking."

Says the person who made 6 movies in a single franchise.
bkmeijer1 - 5/25/2024, 4:13 AM
@Th3Batman - on the hand I agree that it sounds a bit hypocritical, but on the other he did try to do something new with every entry. It may not have paid off, but it's better than sequels, remakes and whatnots doing the exact same thing as it's predecessor.
Mrtoke - 5/25/2024, 4:24 AM
@Th3Batman - he literally said he saw flash gorgon and kind of based Star Wars off of that. Or did you not get that part.
IAmAHoot - 5/25/2024, 4:28 AM
@Mrtoke - And yet Star Wars does not equal Flash Gordon...
Mrtoke - 5/25/2024, 4:29 AM
@IAmAHoot - it's that and westerns and old Japanese movies and all that
AC1 - 5/25/2024, 5:17 AM
@bkmeijer1 - I mean, as much as I love Star Wars ESPECIALLY the original trilogy, the first film is just the classic Fairy Tale story set in space - a wizard (Ben) sends a farm boy (Luke) on a mission to save a princess (Leia) from an evil wizard (Vader) in a castle (The Death Star) with the help of a scoundrel with a heart of gold (Han) and his loyal companion (Chewie). Episodes V and VI were more original than that but they were also the ones George was less involved in seeing as he didn't direct them and I don't think he even wrote them, just coming up with the basic story.
PartyKiller - 5/25/2024, 5:46 AM
@Mrtoke - He used to spin it differently until Gary Kurtz told the true story. He used to claim he wrote 'Journey Of The Whills' and had to cut it down to Star Wars.

He's an idiot! Only a total [frick]head would fire a producer right after they gave him The Empire Strikes Back. George Lucas is that [frick]head!
Apophis71 - 5/25/2024, 6:05 AM
@Mrtoke - Every creative thought is initialy inspired by SOMETHING else, that is how the human brain works, so watching Flash Gordon and being inspired to do something in that genre is fairly normal but there isn't a single narrative plot point in Flash Gordon you can point to that carries over to the first Star Wars film so 'it was based on' is a stretch, inspired by I can see...

...there are no new stories at the end of the day, just a good creative can approach one or more of those stories and craft them into something that feels completely original...

...what Lucas then did is a LOT of homework to find the core building blocks for epic sagas and took aspects like the Japanese storytelling method of through the eyes of side characters instead or servants a couple of Droids with Star Wars. Then the recurring Merlin trope with OB1, the greek heroes journey etc as the building blocks for something that still in the end felt very original. Even if there is a dozen recognisable aspects from prior epic stories that have endured for centuries and a few from other more recent media the end result felt like nothing any of us at the time of release had ever seen before and not just due to the FX and Space setting.
IronSpider101 - 5/25/2024, 6:12 AM
@Mrtoke - Inspired by, yes. Every piece of art has an influence from something that came before. I am assuming you talking about this means you haven't seen many movies and/or you are very young. The older you get, the more you will notice just how much pulls from other sources. Homage/rip off. It's not about where you pull from, it's where you take it.
bkmeijer1 - 5/25/2024, 7:16 AM
@AC1 - exactly. I've been saying the same thing. It's all about saving the princess from the dark lord's tower. It's even why I call Star Wars sci-fantasy instead of sci-fi.

Still, the story is very important. Empire Strikes is great at narrative reversals (unlike The Last Jedi). Return of the Jedi is great at heroic reversals. It never goes the way you expect it to. Atleast I didn't. Kasdan's script shouldn't be forgotten though
dracula - 5/25/2024, 9:04 AM
@Th3Batman - and made nothing else except prototype happy days
Mrtoke - 5/25/2024, 10:06 AM
@IronSpider101 - look here, old head. We're all exposed to enough art to know this came from that. What are you on about
EgoEgor - 5/25/2024, 2:01 PM
@Th3Batman - man, the irony was really lost on him, wasn't it? Lol. I mean he is right, but talk about the pot calling the kettle "black".
elcapitan - 5/25/2024, 3:49 PM
@Th3Batman - and 5 in another.
whoknows - 5/25/2024, 4:37 PM
@Mrtoke - Kurosawa movies, dune, valerian and laureline the French comics. There were many influences, probably all things he enjoy a lot. Inspiration was taken of course, but it was shifted and twisted into new things. No thought is entirely original, but why would he or should we getting into semantics about that answer. He’s basically saying Hollywood is doing a lot of remakes or movies so heavily inspired by one movie, or even when making the sequel they are redoing what they did in the last movie rather than tell a new story. So Yes his movies were inspired by other films and books, but he came up with something so refreshing and beloved it turned into this ever expanding universe. IMO he has more than earned the right to make that statement. And i dont think hes wrong, his sequels, even though thats what they were, at least treaded new ground, new story, he always tried to add new elements to it. As well as it being a part of a larger story, a huge saga. Idk why we over here getting caught up with semantics, should really be discussing whether his assessment is right or not. That’s the better discussion. Not whether or not he should be the one to say it.
bkmeijer1 - 5/25/2024, 4:14 AM
He's absolutely right imo. The prequels weren't the best, but he did push the boundaries of filmmaking. And that pushing boundaries of moving images is what real cinema is in my book.

I feel like Scorcese and co. are more pushing against conventions, while Lucas and Spielberg are expanding them. Neither works within conventions, but atleast one is broadening them. I don't care if it's a sequel or a remake, as long as it feels new.
TheMetaMan - 5/25/2024, 4:33 AM
@bkmeijer1 - Martin Scorsese and many other veteran filmmakers are living up to their old age. They are stuck in their ways it’s purely dogmatic. Lucas says it as it is with an unbiased POV. I love Scorsese’s work, I thought Killers of the flower moon was cinema but so is Across the spider-verse. Martin would beg to differ but that’s him going senile. Lacking the cognitive intelligence to process what is technically a moving image which is cinema just like Lucas described it.
bkmeijer1 - 5/25/2024, 7:08 AM
@TheMetaMan - agreed. Being stuck in the past is standstill, and a standstill is moving backwards while the medium should always be moving forward.

And the Spider-Verse movies did exactly that. They really pushed animation into new territories, as we're seeing more animated movies with unique styles. That's cinema imo.
LSHF - 5/25/2024, 9:48 AM
@bkmeijer1 - "He's absolutely right long as it feels new."

Very well stated!
bkmeijer1 - 5/25/2024, 9:54 AM
@LSHF - thanks. Pretty much goes for every adaptation, remake, sequel, etc imo. It has to add something to justify it's existence. Otherwise might as well just pick up the source material.
Doomsday8888 - 5/25/2024, 4:28 AM
What a trash take, lel.
Mrtoke - 5/25/2024, 4:28 AM
I feel like he's tired of getting told, "May the force be with you."

Lmao I'd be tired too if I was told that for over 45 years
YouFlopped - 5/25/2024, 4:28 AM
Good job big G! They didn’t appreciate you while you were working, shit on the prequels (that all of a sudden people like now 😂), and abandoned your creativity for the sake of diversion.

Enjoy them Bs. Pushin P like Marvel 💪🏾
marvel72 - 5/25/2024, 7:21 AM
@YouFlopped - The prequels got better with each movie, shits on the modern trilogy from Disney.
SauronthePower - 5/25/2024, 7:52 AM
@marvel72 - X1000
Toonstrack - 5/26/2024, 12:58 PM
@marvel72 - lol no. The new movies are way better than the prequels.
TheVisionary25 - 5/25/2024, 4:40 AM
"𝐋𝐨𝐨𝐤. 𝐂𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐦𝐚 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐚 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐞," 𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐝. "𝐒𝐨 𝐢𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐬, 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐭'𝐬 𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐦𝐚

User Comment Image

However, while i do agree with him to an extent about big studios lacking imagination and just telling versions of old stories , isn’t that what he did aswell?.

I mean Lucas took inspiration from a myriad of things such as Dune , LOTR & The Hobbit , Japanese samurai cinema , westerns and the movie serials such as Flash Gordon he grew up with…

He just happened to present these hodgepodge of influences in a fresh & new manner which is the key imo.

I subscribe to the idea that all the stories have been told but what matters is how you tell them and that could be through pushing genre conventions or technology like Lucas did.
DrReedRichards - 5/25/2024, 5:31 AM
What people need to realize about Marty it wasn't so much the vocal reactions and popcorn trash in blockbuster movies that make them feel like "theme parks" that he was annoyed by.

What annoyed Marty above all else is that the MCU's (and other major franchises') long-form story telling enabled peasants (in his eyes) on YouTube and the rest of the internet to educate themselves and their viewers / readers on filmmaking concepts like three act structure, character development, cathartic climax, etc, thus preventing him from quite literally gatekeeping cinemas in more ways than one.

That, and the fact that he was forced to push his then latest needlessly long pro-gangster puff piece onto streaming instead of his precious golden halls.

Timing doesn't lie, Mr Scorcese.
IronSpider101 - 5/25/2024, 6:14 AM
@DrReedRichards - Deranged take.
DrReedRichards - 5/25/2024, 6:16 AM
@IronSpider101 -

Thank you, unironically. I'd actually be worried if you agreed with me.
IronSpider101 - 5/25/2024, 6:20 AM
@DrReedRichards - The feeling is mutual, I assure you.
DrReedRichards - 5/25/2024, 6:26 AM
@IronSpider101 -

Music to my ears.

See you on your next "MCU movies are not real movies" trolling attempt.

User Comment Image
IronSpider101 - 5/25/2024, 6:30 AM
@DrReedRichards - I'm sure you really felt like you were making a point. Here, have an upvote on your comment for being a good boy (and because I love reading my own writing).
DrReedRichards - 5/25/2024, 6:34 AM
@IronSpider101 -

Funny how you fail to realize how self-indulgent it is to unabashedly state "I love reading my own writing".

No, wait-- the other thing: Predictable.

But I suppose that's the case with spiteful contrarians who envy mainstream success and appeal in general.
IronSpider101 - 5/25/2024, 6:46 AM
@DrReedRichards - Oh I don't fail to realize how arrogant I sound (I'm pretty sure that's what you meant). That is entirely my intention. Good job on notching! Have another updoot.
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