“They are transcendent auteurs. But they don’t get to point their nose at me or anyone.”
The Shang-Chi star took to social media to address the numerous criticisms levied upon the Marvel franchise by the two filmmakers on Tuesday. “If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to lead a $400 million plus movie,” Liu tweeted. “I am in awe of their filmmaking genius. They are transcendent auteurs. But they don’t get to point their nose at me or anyone.”
Instead, Liu commended Marvel for its diverse storytelling — which hasn’t always been the case throughout the studios’ own history. “No movie studio is or ever will be perfect. But I’m proud to work with one that has made sustained efforts to improve diversity onscreen by creating heroes that empower and inspire people of all communities everywhere,” he continued. “I loved the ‘Golden Age’ too.. but it was white as hell.”
“My only axe to grind against them is they’re the only things that seem to be made,” he said. Noting how fans and studios alike seem to only be excited by those kind of films, “There’s not really much room for anything else. That’s my problem.”
The Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood director also noted that the superhero films have destroyed what it means to be a real movie star.
“You have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters,” he continued. “But they’re not movie stars. Right? Captain America is the star. Or Thor is the star. I mean, I’m not the first person to say that. I think that’s been said a zillion times… but it’s like, you know, it’s these franchise characters that become a star.”
Tarantino previously shared on his The Video Archives Podcast earlier this month that he believes the current movie era is “the worst era in Hollywood history.” He added, “The good thing about being in a bad era of Hollywood cinema is the ones that don’t conform, the ones that stand out from the pack.”
Simu Liu, Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese
Simu Liu, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese
| Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage; Amy Sussman/Getty Images; Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Scorsese has been similarly entrenched in discussions surrounding Marvel movies ever since he famously called them “not cinema” back in 2019. “Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks,” he told Empire. “It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
While attending the BFI London Film Festival, The Irishman director doubled-down on his claims. “That is fine and good for those who enjoy that type of film and, by the way, knowing what goes into them now, I admire what they do,” he said. “It’s not my kind of thing, it simply is not. It’s creating another kind of audience that thinks cinema is that.”
EW has reached out to Tarantino and Scorsese’s representatives for comment, but did not immediately hear back.