One director wasn’t too happy with the "Marvel-ization of Hollywood." and stated that Marvel movie actors are not movie stars. According to Quentin Tarantino, the characters these actors portray are the real stars.
"Part of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood is… you have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters, but they’re not movie stars, right?" Tarantino states. "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."
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.
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.
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) November 22, 2022
One Marvel actor has recently reacted to the statements made by the famous director. Simu Liu, the actor playing the titular character in Shang-Chi and the Legend Of The Ten Rings, took to Twitter to defend Marvel movies.
"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," the actor 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."
Before getting the opportunity to play as Shang-Chi in the MCU, Liu was previously known for his work in the Canadian Sitcom Kim’s Convenience. The show depicts a Korean family who runs a convenience store in Toronto. Liu played the role of Jung, the family’s estranged son.
"No movie studio is or ever will be perfect," Liu adds. "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. I loved the ‘Golden Age’ too.. but it was white as hell."
The comments from Tarantino may have been particularly provoking as the director has had various controversies regarding race in the past. Meghan Markle said that Tarantino’s Kill Bill presents "caricatures of women of Asian descent as oversexualized or aggressive."
The director drew criticism for his depiction of Bruce Lee in the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Shannon Lee described Tarantino’s portrayal of his dad as "an arrogant asshole who was full of hot air." Lee added that "they didn't need to treat him in the way White Hollywood did when he was alive."
Bruce Lee was the primary inspiration for Shang-Chi when the character was created in the ‘70s by Marvel Comics. Shang-Chi and the Legend Of The Ten Rings was a surprise hit when it premiered in 2021. There are rumors that a sequel starring Liu is slated for a 2025 release.