r/entertainment Nov 29 '22 Wholesome 1

Samuel L. Jackson Responds to Quentin Tarantino’s Claim That Marvel Actors Aren’t Movie Stars - “Chadwick Boseman is Black Panther. You can’t refute that. And he’s a movie star,” Jackson said

https://www.thewrap.com/samuel-l-jackson-responds-to-quentin-tarantino-marvel-actors-criticism/
11.0k Upvotes

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u/Dustyoldfart Nov 29 '22

Samuel L. Jackson is probably the biggest movie star in the MCU

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u/Robots_From_Space Nov 29 '22

And the Tarantino-verse.

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u/Garlador Nov 29 '22

That’s the big one.

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u/GoalAccomplished8955 Nov 30 '22

Honestly I think people are misreading (or not reading) the argument. Like fundamentally there was a point in time where big name actors would play a character and they would fill up theaters. You wouldn't even remember the characters name its just "Tom Cruise playing the pilot".

That kind of absurdist star power has largely been replaced by an increased power of IPs.

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u/EIGHTYEIGHTFM Nov 30 '22

If it’s the same interview I’m thinking of, this was largely Tarantino’s point. The IP is the star and not the actor.

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u/radargunbullets Nov 30 '22

I dunno, maybe I'm just old, but I went to see RDJ play Stark. He's not in movies I don't care about mcu

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u/davoodgoast Nov 30 '22

I remember this too. That was before the MCU though. In the consumer’s mind there was no such thing and being a marvel movie then was different than what being a marvel movie is today.

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u/missanthropocenex Nov 30 '22

Moreover to the point, we are talking about a very specific, very real business model. Feige adopted the “franchise first” model meaning actors, names could all be replaced the draw was the IP itself. Notice early when Feige dropped the original War Machine actor Terrence for demanding too much money. Same idea, Feige believes the IP comes above the actor. It’s the same concept the Broccolis adopted for Bond. The stories are about Bond not the actor.

Connery at one point believed audiences were there to see him, and demanded more money once too leading the Broccolis seeking to divorce themselves from hiring him believing he was wrong.

That’s what Tarantino is referring to. To OPS point Top Gun Maverick is a resurgence of the old school actor first method.

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u/jgeotrees Nov 30 '22

Brad pitt exists

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u/Lagstorm Nov 30 '22

You mean Vanisher?

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u/suzy_sweetheart86 Nov 30 '22

John Travolta and Bruce Willis are serious contenders

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u/jokr128 Nov 30 '22

Even Leo, I can't include Jamie Foxx because he's a part of the mcu, but I'd still say that mother fucker Samuel L Jackson is probably the current biggest star of them all.

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u/Positive-Pangolin146 Nov 29 '22

Leo and Brad are bigger stars in my opinion. Especially Leo. Titanic was a massive cultural moment.

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u/TheCh0rt Nov 30 '22

The Titanic sank, so that pretty much ruined the potential for a Titanic Cinematic universe

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

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u/longshot Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 30 '22

But wasn't the original claim that super hero movies don't make movie stars? Samuel was a movie star before he was in a super hero movie.

I don't really agree with Tarantino on this point or anything, but I think misrepresenting his argument isn't very useful either. I disagree that super hero movies typically amplify the character more than the actor. I don't think it is consistent per character/actor at all and exceptional performances easily favor the actor.

EDIT: I gotta say, the discussion around this is impressive. People really care about this, and I think THAT is the star here.

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u/TScottFitzgerald Nov 29 '22 Silver Take My Energy

IIRC Tarantino was making the same point Anthony Mackie was making in this viral video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj8JK6c5x3M

There used to be a time in Hollywood where stars carried movies, and now movies carry stars. You used to go to a cinema to watch the latest Mel Gibson movie, or Brad Pitt, or Jim Carrey. The movie almost didn't really matter, you came there because of the lead star. That was called star power.

Nowadays a lot of movies rely on the IP/brand, and not really the star power. That's really an indisputable observation of trends in Hollywood, it's not Tarantino "whining" as some in the thread have said, it's just how it is and he saw it happen since he started in the 90s. Critics and creators have all been saying it for a while.

He didn't say that people in the films aren't stars, but to paraphrase Mackie, the people come to see Nick Fury, they don't come to see Samuel. They come to see Captain America, not Chris Evans or Mackie.

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u/grub-worm Nov 29 '22

I agree with this point. I'm going to a Marvel movie regardless, for example. There are absolutely actors that draw me to their movies, same for directors, writers, etc., but the reason I'm going to see Marvel is by and large because it's Marvel.

I didn't agree with everything he said, but this is a point I understand and agree with.

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u/Loud-Pause607 Nov 29 '22

You’re comment is the most accurate I’ve seen. People act like they wouldn’t go see a new MCU movie if they replaced Captain A or Iron Man. Disney will cast someone else that is charming and people will love that character, because its all about the character, not exactly the actor.

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u/The_Clarence Nov 30 '22

Damn this is right on. The two examples you gave would be a hard pill to swallow for recasts, but those characters are done anyway.

But I still see star power in DiCaprio and some directors, like Tarantino.

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u/JeffTek Nov 30 '22

DiCaprio is definitely a star but I don't think I'll go see his next movie just because he's in it. I would be beyond excited to see him work with certain directors again, so he would elevate the ticket, but I would never get hyped up to go pay money to see "the new DiCaprio movie". For the record he's easily in my top 3 or 4 actors, he was the or a lead in many of my favorite films. I just don't think people are drawn to individual actors the way they used to be, or the way we are still drawn to certain star directors.

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u/pockets881 Nov 30 '22

And to the MCUs credit they rarely recast. Most are seeming to more leave after their characters arc is completed. The mantle lives if the person can’t fight anymore. I am stoked for the new Captain America movies with Falcon, as I am them introducing the new avengers. Also I prefer the few recasts they did.

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u/Tjep2k Nov 29 '22

Well, we will need to see how The Witcher turns out then.

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u/Cyrus_ofAstroya Nov 30 '22

Given that henry is the only one who cared about the source material/character. It going to go poorly

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u/MegaMugabe21 Nov 30 '22

Star power is always going to have a larger effect on smaller IPs, and the Witcher is a pretty niche IP. Yeah them losing Henry Cavill will have an effect, but tbh the magnitude of the gulf between the Witcher as a universe and the MCU is so colossal that your comparison doesn't really work.

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u/reasonable_person118 Nov 30 '22

Don't think that is going to be a fair comparison. Show writers shitting on source material and changing said material will lead to the inevitable demise of the Witcher.

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u/Jasperbeardly11 Nov 30 '22

A voice of reason

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u/[deleted] Nov 30 '22

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u/janeeiskla Nov 29 '22

I was surprised about the reaction in the comments here when I had just a few days ago seen this exact video of Mackie and people all agreed. But when Tarantino says it, and when Samuel L Jackson is against it, the opinions completely change.
I tend to agree with Mackie and Tarantino. I also think it's kind of a bitch move on Jackson's part to bring a dead man into this. That makes it very hard to argue against his point without coming off like a total asshole.

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u/crackedgear Nov 30 '22

If I had to guess, I’d say star power has let people down far more often than IP power. Like think of all the movies that Madonna has been in, or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, or whatever that one was called with Ewan MacGregor as a clone that drank Mountain Dew and blew stuff up, or Lost in Space with Gary Oldman as some sort of spider. These were all terrible, and over and over people were taught that having a star that you like in a movie is no protection against the movie being garbage.

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u/cmddismycmnd Nov 29 '22

People are blowin this out of proportion and taking it the wrong way. He was saying we go to see the captain America movie, not the new Chris evans movie. He’s not wrong.

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u/Mr_Horsejr Nov 29 '22

Chris Evan’s career BEFORE Captain America and AFTER are 2 totally different careers.

RDJ’s career before Iron Man and after are 2 totally different careers.

Both were 2 men whose acting career at pre-marvel was a b- at best. I’m not being an asshole with the assessment I hope. The last movie I remember Chris Evans in before Cap Am was…Fantastic 4 and Push. Coincidentally, one is a super hero movie (which, at that point in time were a joke.). The other could be argued of as a super hero origin film such that it presented an every man’s ascension into heroism by confronting his past or whatever.

The career of that actor vs the one AFTER the first avenger are 2 totally different careers.

And Chris Evans IS Captain America. No one really wants anyone replacing Steve Rogers.

Same could be said with RDJ.

Gothika… then middling jobs because of his sordid past. You hate to see it; but before that? The most memorable was weird science.

Then he landed Iron Man. Admittedly — he had The Zodiac and Tropic Thunder around the same time-frame, so I won’t begrudge anyone who has that argument, but still, after that time period, one could argue his stint as Tony Stark certainly helped his career along.

Quentin and the rest of these directors are frustrated that they have to compete with nostalgia and childhood feelgoods.

Superhero movies have ALWAYS been around. And they all sucked largely before a certain point. And that point is the Nolanverse/MCU nexus. I’ll even argue X-Men first class and DoFP (not the apocalypse or other movie, though. Dog water. Both of them). And maybe for the first time directors/writers have to reorient.

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u/Black_Metallic Nov 29 '22

Yeah, Marvel made a lot of actors into household names. Chris Pratt was just part of the Parks & Rec ensemble prior to Guardians. Dave Bautista's Drax was seen as such a minor thing at the time that WWE didn't even try to capitalize on the fact that one of their former champions was a star. Tom Hiddleston's Loki certainly opened the doors for leading roles in Crimson Peak and Kong.

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u/FelopianTubinator Nov 29 '22

RDJ was nominated for an academy award for Chaplin. It wasn’t a blockbuster, but it solidified him as a great actor. And Chris Evans was great in Sunshine and pretty good in Street Kings.

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u/EthnicHorrorStomp Nov 29 '22

Seriously, RDJ was already an exceptional actor. His personal issues were (mainly) what held him back, not his acting or exposure.

Most of this thread just highlights who is above a certain age and who isn’t.

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u/[deleted] Nov 30 '22

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u/StoneGoldX Nov 29 '22

From Tarantino's perspective, you have it backwards. Movie star doesn't mean you get roles. Movie star means you get movies financed. Having this guy in your movie means the movie gets made.

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u/johnnywilbur Nov 29 '22

RDJ had a fairly successful career before Iron Man. He had a drug problem in the past that hurt his career more than anything but let's not pretend the man wasn't a star a long time before Iron Man.

There's more of an argument to be made for Chris Evans but it's not like he didn't have a decent career before becoming Captain America or anything. I remember him in a few movies before landing his big role and thought he was a fine actor

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u/fordanjairbanks Nov 29 '22

Apparently the argument isn’t really even about the actors. It was all in the context of the box office. He used the example of Sandra bullock after Speed, where all her successive movies were big blockbuster hits because she drew a crowd. Now, starring in an MCU movie doesn’t necessarily mean your next film is going to hit big at the box office. I think the point is pretty spot on, in context. I get why a lot of people take offense when they only read the headline

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u/MattyBeatz Nov 30 '22

Yes, they definitely are mega stars since appearing in MCU. But they've also both starred in non-MCU films since and I can't think of any that were successful.

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u/ILikeMyGrassBlue Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

You’re missing the point. Tarantino wasn’t saying “no one in super hero movies is a star.” He was saying that they don’t make stars. Being captain America won’t suddenly make you a household name that gets all these get rolls—at least that’s what Tarantino is saying. Samuel Jackson was a star long before he was in the MCU, so he’s irrelevant to the point Tarantino is making.

Edit: I was clarifying the point Tarantino was making, not saying I agreed with it.

Edit two: to me, “Household name that gets all these roles,” implies that the actor is someone filling theaters on their own, independent of the character, which is why I used that phrase. You become a household name and get tons of rolls because you put butts in seats. The implication is in the phrase. I just didn’t spell that out because I thought the implication was obvious.

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u/Samwise-42 Nov 29 '22

Tarantino is right to a degree, but Hemsworth and Evans weren't really on my radar before being in Marvel films, and now if I see other projects they're in I'm at least intrigued to by it. It's not a "oh I've gotta go see the new Chris movie" or anything but I generally like both actors work. Same with Tom Hiddleston.

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

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u/MattyBeatz Nov 30 '22

Correct - RDJ, Evans, Scarlett, etc. have all starred in Non-MCU films since and none of those films really blew it out of the water.

The podcast was a great listen and I felt Tarantino's words were not nearly as inflammatory as they've been made out to be.

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u/Samwise-42 Nov 29 '22

Ah that's a fair point. The Chris brigade doesn't necessarily equal big box office on non marvel properties (Pratt doesn't get credit for Jurassic World in my opinion, dinosaurs do).

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u/Solid_Hunter_4188 Nov 29 '22

It’s still a bad blanket though. Tom holland was not a household name before Spider-Man (certainly not so in the states). I don’t recall seeing Anthony mackie around much other than papa doc before the falcon. These two definitely had their careers sparked by their marvel appearances. I might even say Chris hemsworth fits this as well, with Thor jumping him to main character status across the industry.

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u/CaterpillarJungleGym Nov 29 '22

But you can't argue that Tom Holland is a name and people will watch a movie because he's in it. He's not a star. He's a superhero.

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u/Solid_Hunter_4188 Nov 30 '22

… how can I not argue that..? He’s been top billing in American movies since. And it’s only been like 5 years.

It’s a bad equivalence. There’s no such thing as a new movie star, then. There are no films that people line up to see because of a named actor anymore. Other than, maybe, the rock. There are no more movie stars, in that sense: only franchises and IPs that draw interest.

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u/engi_nerd Nov 29 '22

Tom Holland became a household name by dating Zendaya, don’t @ me.

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u/Solid_Hunter_4188 Nov 29 '22

That take was so hot I’m gonna need some ointment

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u/hablandochilango Nov 29 '22

Didn’t captain america literally make Chris Evans a household name?

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u/gibbie420 Nov 29 '22

To me he's been a household name since Not Another Teen Movie

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u/hablandochilango Nov 29 '22

Check out his name on google trends. He was hovering around 10% of his ATH search interest before he was linked to captain America. I guess it’s all semantics but seems clear to me

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u/Less_Likely Nov 29 '22

It’s wrong though. Chris Hemsworth was an unknown in 2010 and he’s a movie star. Tom Holland too. There are others who were B-list and became A-list or revitalized their careers

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u/Loud-Pause607 Nov 29 '22

The topic is those actors you mentioned aren’t bringing people to other movies they are in. Lets be real, all the post MCU movies that they make are usually mediocre and people go to those because it seems generic enough to spend a Saturday at the movies. They weren’t made into Brad Pitts or Meryl Streep. They aren’t carrying the movies they are in. They are just recognizable at the very least.

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u/Less_Likely Nov 29 '22

Who is these days? Name one big name actor who has starred in a successful original IP movie.

Here’s a list of lead actors in domestic $200m original IP movies in last 14 years (Marvel’s first year), not including animation.

  • Will Smith (Hancock)
  • Sam Worthington (Avatar)
  • Brad Cooper (Hangover, American Sniper)
  • Sandra Bullock (The Blindside, Gravity)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception)
  • Mark Wahlberg (Ted)
  • Rami Malik (Bohemian Rhapsody)
  • Brad Pitt (World War Z)
  • Matt Damon (The Martian)

Every other $200m movie is a franchise, reboot, sequel, animation, or based on an already popular book or comic series. I even included Bohemian Rhapsody (biopic on popular musician/band) and a couple book adaptations that may have had a built in fanbase.

That’s 11 of 142 and most of these were 2008-2012. The age of the movie star is basically over. It’s the age of IP, and that’s not Marvel’s fault, they are just the biggest benefactor.

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u/Loud-Pause607 Nov 30 '22 edited Nov 30 '22

Idk, without numbers, just strictly actors that I think can carry a movie and are decently successful is Timothee Chalamet, Saoirse Ronin, Joaqin Phoenix, Rooney Mara. If I see those actors in a movie, then I will watch it strictly for them since they are great actors imo. I’m not watching something because Tom Holland or Chris Hemsworth is in it.

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u/[deleted] Nov 30 '22

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u/Less_Likely Nov 30 '22

Oh for sure, there are actors I seek out and watch. But that’s not how the biggest movies market anymore.

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u/Sinowhino Nov 29 '22

Samuel L Jackson is so into the MCU, that the comic book artists made Nick Fury look more like Samuel L Jackson in real life, because that is who they would have chosen.

The comic book artists chose the actor in this case.

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u/geronimosykes Nov 29 '22

From my understanding, when they reworked Fury for the (what was it?) Ultimate universe, they approached Sam Jackson about using his likeness, and he agreed only under the stipulation that he would be the one to play him in any live action adaptations.

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u/Howunbecomingofme Nov 29 '22

I believe that’s the case. There is a scene in Ultimates 2 (I think) where the Ultimates are discussing who would play them in a movie and Fury says “why Mister Samuel L Jackson, of course. That’s not even open to debate”

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u/Y8ser Nov 29 '22

Umm Robert Downey Jr? He made a comeback with Iron Man, but has been a legit actor for a long time.

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u/ComputerNerdGuy Nov 29 '22

Um obviously the hulk is the biggest …

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u/DemiFiendRSA Nov 29 '22

Samuel L. Jackson:

“Okay well it takes an actor to be those particular characters,” Jackson said, after “The View” co-host asked Jackson what his thoughts were on Tarantino’s opinion of the MCU. “And the sign of movie stardom has always been, what, asses in seats? What are we talking about? So, it’s not a big controversy for me to know that, well, apparently, these actors are movie stars. You know, Chadwick Boseman IS Black Panther. You can’t refute that. And he’s a movie star.”

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

I think the argument he would make against that is that the properties are what's putting asses in seats for those movies, not the actors. For example people go to the theater to see Batman, not Robert Pattinson or Christian Bale.

Not saying that I agree with it, just playing devil's advocate.

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u/ezekial1082 Nov 29 '22

I think it’s both really. Seeing an actor you already like, playing a character you already know can be exciting. I’ve seen many Batman movies, but I was very intrigued by the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale take on the characters.

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u/BakedWizerd Nov 29 '22

Exactly. Batman is my favorite character, Ben Affleck is not an actor I am enthusiastic about. He was fine in the role, but when they announced Pattinson in the role, I was very excited.

It’s both.

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u/capitlj Nov 29 '22

Absolutely, one can't exist without the other. Maybe I didn't go see Black Widow because Scarlet Johansson was starring in it but SHE IS Black Widow and the combination of the two is what puts my ass in a seat.

That's maybe a bad example since you'd have a hard time arguing that she isn't a movie star but the point stands no matter which actor character combo you choose. I've always given props to the casting in the MCU, It's been really really good right from the word go IMO.

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u/InterstellarIsBadass Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

Tobey Maguire put me in a seat for the new Spider-man

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

This isn't a great example. You went because you wanted to see Tobey Maguire as Spiderman again, not because of Tobey Maguire per se. He's not a name that draws people out for pretty much whatever movie he does, which is typically what is meant by the term movie star. I can't remember a movie he's done as a lead since Spiderman 3 that got a lot of press. I guess you could consider him a lead in The Great Gatsby, but even that was nearly a decade ago.

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u/nevereatpears Nov 30 '22

Plus Gatsby starred legitimate movie star Dicaprio. No one was paying to see it for Tobey.

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u/capnwinky Nov 30 '22

I would never have bothered with Widow if not for Florence Pugh

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u/PT10 Nov 29 '22

Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas put asses in seats for Ant-Man.

RDJ and Jeff Bridges carried Iron Man into opening weekend.

And conversely,, Chris Pratt became a star because of Marvel.

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u/PromiscuousMNcpl Nov 30 '22

Deadpool could only be played by Ryan Reynolds.

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u/SeanHearnden Nov 29 '22

I also get curious when it is an actor I wouldn't expect. I remember the shit storm when Affleck was cast. I had to see it and I thought he was great.

I like Tarantino's movies but seldom like what he says. I think he's a proper grump.

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u/southpark Nov 29 '22

Counter argument would be, would you go see Thor if it was Steven Segal?

It’s really the property and the actors (and directors and editors and everything that goes into filmmaking) that make a film successful, you can’t claim just a single facet of filmmaking is what makes a movie successful. There are plenty of examples where a property has a huge fan base that hates a movie made / cast poorly. cough Star Wars cough.

I haven’t actually seen the new Batman with Robert Pattinson because I’m not particularly compelled to watch it with him playing the main character. I did watch the Christian Bale Batman movies because I was drawn to how he portrayed the character.

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u/jonhammsjonhamm Nov 29 '22

You better fuckin believe I would

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u/Picromenis42 Nov 29 '22

It would be like watching a car crash that involved only clown cars.

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u/No-Cost-2668 Nov 29 '22

I mean, yes. That sounds hilarious and I would see that movie in a heartbeat

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u/SatnWorshp Nov 29 '22

would you go see Thor if it was Steven Segal?

Yes, in a heartbeat. I know what to expect out of Segal these days so I think it would be hilarious to watch him take the role seriously. Also, to see him slap fight Gorr.

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u/Shrimpulse Nov 29 '22

I want to see how they would set up the scene to give him a chair so he can fight sitting down.

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u/SatnWorshp Nov 29 '22

The Grand Master could gift him the chair from Ragnarok.

Thor: Sittin' 'n Slappin'

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u/nic_af Nov 29 '22

I'd disagree on that, look at Black Adam, relatively unknown character to mainstream, but it's doing well because the lead is the Rock.

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u/PM_ME_SUMDICK Nov 29 '22

The Rock isn't a star because of superhero movies. Like Jackson, The Rock would've classified as a star before being casted.

He's in superhero movies because he's a movie star with a youth based audience.

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u/TwatsThat Nov 29 '22

This is a bad example, it didn't even break even after marketing.

There's also the obvious comparison to Black Panther 2 that doesn't have Bosemen but is actually doing well.

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u/EntropyFighter Nov 29 '22

That IS the argument he's making. And he's not wrong. How many people are going to go see something that Elizabeth Olsen is in because she's Elizabeth Olsen? And how many people would watch her as Scarlett Witch? Who is the star, Elizabeth Olsen or Scarlett Witch?

Now, compare her against an actual movie star like Tom Cruise. There's no comparison. People will go see a movie because Tom Cruise is in it. But Elizabeth Olsen? Very, very questionable.

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u/piray003 Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

But doesn't that cut against his own movies as well? Like most people go to see his movies because it's a Tarantino movie, not because a particular actor is in it. But saying Sam Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jamie Foxx, or even Brad Pitt and Leo DiCaprio, aren't movie stars because people aren't going to those movies exclusively to see those actors seems obtuse.

Edit: Just as an addendum, Elizabeth Olsen seems like an arbitrary choice if you're going to draw comparisons. RDJ, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Rudd, Josh Brolin, Natalie Portman, Ryan Reynolds, Michael Douglas, Anthony Hopkins, etc. (I'm sure I'm leaving some out) have all played pretty integral roles in the MCU (Deadpool is separate I know), and they all have pretty extensive acting credits beyond the MCU that establish them as "stars" according to Tarantino's definition.

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u/heavymcd Nov 29 '22

I’d have to really look at it and break them down, but you should consider whether there’s any correlation between pre-MCU success and success outside the MCU after doing Marvel.

The MCU has brought in existing stars…Jackson, Hopkins, RDJ, Russell, Foxx, etc.

But for the MCU stars that didn’t have a solid, existing career prior I’m not sure how much of a draw they are outside of Marvel.

There are issues with this though, because for many is these actors Marvel work takes up a ton of their time, and also pays more than enough that they don’t need to do anything else. So while somebody like Chris Hemsworth hasn’t done a ton of other stuff (and most of that has been pretty hit and miss), that doesn’t necessarily indicate much.

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u/AbsolutelyUnlikely Nov 29 '22

I think Leo actually is one of the actors where people will see something just because he stars in it. Brad Pitt is as well. They also both have a pretty good track record since they get offered so many movies that they can be choosy about only appearing in the best ones.

I think the big difference between someone who is only famous for their time with Marvel and actual movie stars is that actual movie stars give credibility to a movie just by being in the cast. Everyone in the list that you added has well-known credibility outside of their appearances in Marvel.

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u/GoalAccomplished8955 Nov 30 '22

But doesn't that cut against his own movies as well?

It does and Tarantino is probably one of the few remaining auteur filmmakers whose name can similar put butts in seats.

Generally though I think the argument is getting twisted in the retelling. I think you can argue fairly clearly that star power is well reduced from its height and there are fewer of them left. Instead general audiences are interested in IPs and have some but a far lesser attraction to actors. And like this is a dumb anecdote but back when Top Gun 2 was coming out I was talking to my mom and she said "we're going to go see that new Tom Cruise movie". That is the star power that has largely left the market.

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u/chip1252 Nov 29 '22

While I agree that Tom Cruise is a box office draw, what other actors can open a movie with just their name? Dwayne Johnson? Maybe, but the legs for Black Adam say otherwise.

The days of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, etc. feel like they've passed.

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u/astroK120 Nov 29 '22

While I agree that Tom Cruise is a box office draw, what other actors can open a movie with just their name? Dwayne Johnson?

I don't think Tarantino would disagree with you here. The days where the movie star is the main draw seems to be... over is probably a bit much, but it's not at the level it once was. Meanwhile the use of existing IP has been around forever but with some exceptions (just like there are exceptions now with the few starts with drawing power) I don't think it was the same level we have now.

The landscape of what brings people to the theater has changed, and personally I don't think it's insulting to the actors--who are still a vital part of the operation--to say so any more than it would be an insult to the writers to say that it was the actors who put butts in seats before.

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u/TwatsThat Nov 29 '22

I think the shift is more to do with the availability of information than the fact that someone finally figured out how to make good comic book movies.

If Tarantino was right that the comic book characters put butts in seats we wouldn't have so many failed comic book movies, especially ones with big name actors tied to them.

Comic book IPs will definitely get you a foot in the door from a marketing perspective but if you don't have reasonably good talent both on and off screen then you're gonna get Morbed at the box office.

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u/bushesbushesbushes Nov 29 '22

Harrison Ford has done soooo many bombs though. Tarantino might only put out a dozen movies over the course of decades but most actors aren't so picky.

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u/TheBaron2K Nov 29 '22

In the interview he Tom Segura said there aren't many movie stars anymore. Tarantino said there are like 5 stars left. He said it was due to MCU and Captain america being the star, not the actor.

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u/TechnicianCurrent351 Nov 29 '22

Idk about this example, Elizabeth Olsen's acting abilities brought the Scarlett Witch from a side character to a very interesting antihero who can support a series. And in turn I would now watch a movie just for Elizabeth.

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u/titanicbuster Nov 29 '22

Most people won't tho

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u/Ramza87 Nov 29 '22

No you’re right, he’s wrong. He’s only saying Chadwick is a star because he’s dead and he’ll get love for saying he’s a star, but he wasn’t a “movie star”. There weren’t a ton of people saying “I need to see the new Chadwick Boseman movie”

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u/ZombieStomp Nov 29 '22

Yes I think this was Tarantino's point as well.

You know how I know the property is more important than the actor?

They made another Black Panther film.

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u/irishjoker89 Nov 29 '22

TBF, isn’t the 2nd movie essentially a grieving process/love letter to the movie star who died. There’s another BP film, but there’s not another T’Challa.

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u/GoalAccomplished8955 Nov 30 '22

But they were always going to make another one and they just happened to handle his death in it well. Its like if Arnold Schwarzenegger died after Terminator. Do you think they would have made a Terminator 2 after he was gone to "honor his memory".

I don't think so.

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u/No-Cost-2668 Nov 29 '22

I hate to be that guy, but there is quite literally another T'Challa

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u/casual_creator Nov 29 '22

Exactly. I say “I want to go see the new Captain America movie.” Not “I want to see the new Chris Evans movie.”

What Tarantino said is totally accurate in that regard. Where the argument falters though is that it’s because of superhero films. The death of the “traditional” movie star and their draw power has been in decline (and lamented by some in the industry) for decades.

There’s nothing wrong with it, IMO. The story and characters should be the focus.

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u/Treysif Nov 29 '22

I specifically saw The Batman because it was Robert Pattinson

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u/UX-Edu Nov 29 '22

I think Boseman is a particularly salient rebuttal to that perspective though, just based on the fact they haven’t recast black panther. The character is just as dead as the actor for the time being.

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u/ExWendellX Nov 29 '22

Yeah, but the role is what made him famous in the first place and he is the only MCU actor to be struck down in his prime, which no doubt impacted his stardom. One could argue he is only more famous BECAUSE he died.

So I don’t find this to be a good rebuttal, it is pointing to the exception to the rule, not the rule itself.

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u/xframex Nov 29 '22

I didn’t go see Batman because of Robert so then yes, his role did impact my ass in a seat.

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u/Zulias Nov 29 '22

No one has been the Joker since Heath Ledger. All others have merely aspired to the title. Heath Ledger was a movie star.

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u/Dull_Bumblebee_356 Nov 29 '22

Chadwick Boseman wasn’t even BP in the new BP movie and it still did very very well. So Tarantino was right that people are not going to these movies because of the actors.

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u/LassitudinalPosition Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

I wish Samuel didn't invoke Chadwick Boseman as his example because RIP Chadwick Boseman is an actor which pretty much proves Tarantino's point. Black Panther is the star, and yes Chadwick Boseman plays him but...outside of black panther, Chadwick Boseman is not a movie star and unfortunately never got the chance to really prove otherwise.

Just look at his IMDB page and be objective and say, "other than Black Panther what roles did he play that put, asses in seats" as Samuel Jackson stated

By comparison, Tom Cruise is a movie star

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u/Mal_Terra Nov 29 '22

I feel like Tom Segura was the only interviewer to let Tarantino fully explain that comment.

He was saying the age of the movie star is basically over. He used Sandra Bullock as an example. People loved her in Speed so her name alone was putting butts into seats back in the 90s, whether her movies were good or not.

No one (or the vast majority)goes to a Marvel movie for Chris Evans, RDJ, Tom Holland or Sam Jackson.

They go to see Cpt America, Iron Man, Spiderman and Nick Fury.

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u/The_Mexican_Poster Nov 29 '22

Did people go to black Adam to see Black Adam or to see The Rock?

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u/MellowistheYellow Nov 29 '22 Gold

No one went to see Black Adam though

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u/PackageintheMaleBox Nov 29 '22

$377M in the box office. That means if each ticket cost $15 that 25 million people saw it.

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u/CantGitGudWontGitGud Nov 29 '22

Or one person saw it 25 million times at a personal cost of $377m. We'll never know!

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u/blk_mmth Nov 30 '22 Helpful

What if it was just one guy with six guns?

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u/noctalla Nov 29 '22

On one hand, 25 million is a heck of a lot of people. On the other hand it's only 0.31% of people. I'm not sure what my point is but, maybe, potato/potahto?

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u/MrBones-Necromancer Nov 29 '22

Thats...not that many people. Like...less than 1% of the people.

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u/Adventurous_Ad6698 Nov 29 '22

Women went to see Jason Momoa in Aquaman.

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u/explicitviolence Nov 29 '22

Black Adam is a box office bust though.

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u/GodOfAtheism Nov 29 '22

Sounds like they didn't go to see Black Adam OR The Rock then.

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u/abunchofscarybees Nov 30 '22

Black Adam, quite literally only that. Nobody besides hardcore comic book fans saw that shit, lol

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u/a-coca-cola-bottle Nov 29 '22

He didn’t say all the movie stars were gone

He was also mostly talking about marvel movies lol

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u/DegenGolfer Nov 29 '22

Black Adam flopped tho

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u/TheInconspicuousBIG Nov 29 '22

Who gives a duck about black Adam??

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u/EarthlyMartian-21 Nov 29 '22

I could argue that Black Widow is the opposite. The only reason I’ve ever cared for that character is because Scarlet Johansson is the actress. If they were to replace her with some no-name you might as well cut the role.

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u/ThrownAwayRealGood Nov 29 '22

And also the fact that they got Florence Pugh to hand the mantle to, like, she’s one of the finer actresses of today. I don’t know if she’s necessarily “asses in seats” draw like SLJ says for a general audience, but she’s definitely one of the people I will watch a movie because she’s in it.

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u/dpforest Nov 29 '22

Scarlett Johansson was the glue that held the Avengers together in my view. It just isn’t the same without her.

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u/Joshstradaymus Nov 29 '22

Portrayals matter. They’ve done phenomenal with their casting choices. If they weren’t great selections these movies wouldn’t be as popular as they are.

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u/Thechosenjuan7 Nov 29 '22

That’s not entirely true. Maybe the effect of the movie star is lessening but plenty of people went to go see Uncharted just bc Tom Holland was in it

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u/rjcarr Nov 29 '22

Agreed, but wasn't that his first major film outside of Spiderman? I expect his next movie will do even worse since it was a bit of a bust. Similar to RDJ and the Sherlock movies.

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

It’s funny because I have gone to see movies specifically because they starred someone made famous by the MCU

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u/artfrche Nov 29 '22

Zendaya comes to my mind - I watched Euphoria because I loved her acting in the MCU

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u/mtarascio Nov 30 '22

But what about the reverse?

Does someone see Chris Evans or Tom Holland in something else because they were a Marvel Hero?

I'd say yes.

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

Anthony Mackie said the same exact thing about MCU actors and everyone agreed.

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u/WhiteWolf3117 Nov 29 '22

He said it from the inside so no one’s insecurities were flamed. When Tarantino said it, people (wrongly) assumed he was saying the same thing Scorsese said.

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u/Croute_de_Couilles Nov 29 '22

What Scorsese said was completely valid too though.

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u/OriginalName18 Nov 29 '22

I know that’s the weird thing

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u/streambeck Nov 29 '22

I think people are taking Tarantino’s comment too personally, in a weird way.

I think it’s fair to say that a new Iron Man movie starring someone other than Downey would make more money at the box office than some random movie starring Downey. He’s had flops since being Iron Man. I think the vast majority of the audience for the MCU movies wouldn’t go to see a non-MCU movie because an MCU actor is in it.

I think the idea of a big Hollywood star is kind of bygone. How many people are going to see movies because of the specific actors in them? That’s not really a widespread thing anymore.

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u/xigloox Nov 29 '22

I agree with you.

But I will watch anything with Anna Kendrick in it.

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u/kfloppp Nov 29 '22

Me but with Keira Knightley. I'll even watch another POTC even if its awful if she's in it.

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u/Sangui Nov 29 '22

I think people are taking Tarantino’s comment too personally, in a weird way.

They're taking it too personally, in a weird way, and they didn't actually listen to the full context of his comment they're only reacting to a headline of an article they probably didn't even read.

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u/Vic-tron Nov 29 '22

There was a thread recently where someone pointed out that Marvel (and massive franchise IP in general) have WON. War’s over. They’ve been dominating for years

But despite ruling the monoculture, superhero stans somehow believe they are the underdogs and act like they are being picked on anytime these mega-franchises are critiqued. It’s not enough that this shit swallowed Hollywood and killed off all the original mid-budget studio pictures, they want to kill film criticism along with it.

“You are a sore loser.”

“And you are an abysmal winner.”

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u/blue-dream Nov 29 '22

I think the larger topic at hand isn’t that they’ve won altogether, it’s that they’ve won this era.

You’re absolutely right that Marvel has defined studio features for a decade at least, but it won’t be this way forever, and Tarantino says as much in the interviews he’s done.

Each decade of the 20th century was entirely different in regards to what the movie business was doing, and the current era we’re in is no different. Eventually Marvel movies will reach a saturation point, and a pivot will happen. Honestly, it very well could be that the entire movie industry pivots to something other than what it looks like right now.

But I do absolutely agree with you that Marvel fans are so sensitive and defensive about any criticism. Tarantino is an elder filmmaker at this point, he’s been around the block multiple times over and with that he’s seen a number of different Hollywood eras come and go.

All he’s saying is that the industry is different than it was in the 90s, and that he preferred that era. That’s just an opinion that can be neither right nor wrong, it’s subjective. However, it’s objectively wrong to imply that the movie industry is the same today as it was back then- that this Marvel era hasn’t created its own archetype.

That’s where I take issue with Marvel stans and their defensiveness, because it just feels like they’re not accepting of objective reality.

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u/Animegamingnerd Nov 29 '22

MCU stans are one of the weirdest fandom on the planet. You can tell a lot of them are younger and haven't watched many classic movies, but they act like they are an expert on film and story telling and then once you criticize it or even in Tarantino's case make a basic ass observation about its audience, then suddenly they start acting abuse victims.

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u/FilmRanger13 Nov 29 '22

People who are really into Marvel movies seem to have no idea that non Marvel movies even exist. Names like Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner have minimal box office pull outside of their costumes.

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u/Oof_my_eyes Nov 30 '22

Marvel fanboys seething, it’s weird how emotionally invested they are

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u/CentralConflict Nov 29 '22

100%.

People just want to argue for the sake of it. His point is pretty self-evident. Franchise power trumped cinema power long ago.

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u/BadReynolds Nov 29 '22

What is cinema power?

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u/CentralConflict Nov 29 '22

The attraction of a single, well constructed movie that stands on its own right with actors that provide the majority of the quality in the film.

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u/Sick-Shepard Nov 29 '22

That is still a thing. We've had that happen multiple times this year alone.

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u/dtsupra30 Nov 29 '22

I agree I can’t believe we’re still talking about it actually haha.

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u/ehrgeiz91 Nov 29 '22

Free laborers for marvel always take this shit too personally.

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u/RatBrainedManAnimal Nov 29 '22

I think people are taking Tarantino’s comment too personally, in a weird way.

imo MCU fans have the same kind of devotion to their obsession as Taylor Swift or Rick and Morty or My Little Pony fans.

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u/spunkyweazle Nov 29 '22

It's Scorsese all over again

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u/PorkshireTerrier Nov 29 '22

How many people are going to see movies because of the specific actors in them?

the tl;dr/ tarantino's point

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u/vy_rat Nov 29 '22

Doesn't the fact they're making a Black Panther movie without Boseman refute Jackson's point? It's in Disney's best interest that they continue to deemphasize actors in favor of brands.

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u/Hmm_would_bang Nov 29 '22

It would refute his point if they just recast T’Challa. But they had to kill the character because Boseman is linked so closely to the role that it’s unlikely people would have accepted the change

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u/Savings_Inflation_77 Nov 29 '22

That last sentence is a hefty sentence. That's a great point.

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u/ArthurSaga0 Nov 29 '22

The fact that so many people think Tarantino’s movie star comments were offensive or him talking shit, makes me believe that media literacy must be at an all time low. It’s truly astounding how difficult this is for people to understand. I don’t blame Samuel L here, I blame the idiots running the view wanting to ask a question about out of context quotes to induce rage-clicks.

People didn’t see Black Panther because they were Chadwick Boseman fans. They saw it because it was a Marvel movie. Chadwick Bosemans other two theatrical films after CA: Civil War- 21 Bridges and Marshall- both bombed at the box office, because people don’t go to see a movie just because Chadwick Boseman is in it.

Contrast this with the 90’s. Someone like Nicholas Cage WAS the draw over whatever premise his movie was. People didn’t see ‘The Rock’ because the premise of rouge soldiers taking over Alcatraz was THAT good- they saw it because they liked Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery.

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u/TenTonCloud Nov 30 '22

It’s wild too because anyone who actually listened to the interview after seeing this drama pop up, like myself, would have probably been surprised to hear how much Tarantino made every attempt to avoid bashing Marvel or Disney.

It’s odd because you’d think people would leap more on his comments declaring the current era of film as one of the worst but of course Marvel fans can’t help themselves at leaping at the guy for not loving them.

At the end of the day, we need to radically change how we’re approaching any type of critique nowadays. Starting a whole widespread campaign against a guy just because doesn’t like some fucking movies is just embarrassing and says more about the movies if you can’t let them stand for themselves against one person’s opinion.

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u/Okichah Nov 29 '22

Tbf, media literacy has never been very high.

Clickbait and rage bait work. Thats it. They make money so the media will always use it.

They work because people dont care about the truth. They care about themselves. So they superimpose their emotions onto the clickbait and then react to it.

This happens completely independent of the truth or what someone actually said.

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u/doubled99again Nov 29 '22

Yes, you can refute that. Easily. Tarantino was right.

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u/lordofmass Nov 29 '22

Not for being black panther though.

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u/Spaniardman40 Nov 29 '22

I think people are missing the point of what Quentin was trying to say. When people go watch Captain America, they want to watch more of that character, instead of wanting to see the actor in different roles. This is literally the reason Chris Evans and Robert Downey wanted out of the roles. They felt that their entire acting careers were attached to playing a single role, and were missing out on exploring different characters

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u/Enzown Nov 29 '22

So which actors are drawing crowds in regardless of the role they're playing?

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u/Nick-Bemo Nov 29 '22

Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Reynolds, brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Christian bale, Tom hanks, Keanu reeves. That’s just off the top of my head, but there are a lot of actors that have a huge following where people will go see their movies even if it’s not a superhero movie.

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u/PackageintheMaleBox Nov 29 '22

Tom Cruise did make people come out to see The Mummy. Keanu Reeves was making schlock like 47 Ronin that no one was seeing before John Wick.

No actor is a sure thing anymore.

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u/Positive-Pangolin146 Nov 29 '22

Ehhh one off flops are fine. I don’t think anyone in their right mind thinks Tom Cruise isn’t a sure thing or a movie star. Top Gun Maverick absolutely destroyed at the box office, the Mission Impossible movies do well because of Cruise. He’s the draw.

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u/Rudzinsky Nov 30 '22

What flops is Dicaprio making? I can literally think of maybe 2-3 max in the last 20 years.

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u/WhiteWolf3117 Nov 29 '22

The implication behind asking this question is that the answer is none, right? Which was the entire point of Tarantino’s statement, is that it’s basically a dead concept.

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u/TheOJsGlove Nov 29 '22

Thats a very good question and I think its entirely subjective. I’d argue that people like Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, The Rock (albeit an outlier from the previously mentioned stars) etc. still have that draw of putting asses in seats on name alone. I have a hard time with some friends when I say “Oh, so-and-so is in this movie.”

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

No offense but I'm not sure Chadwick Boseman would be considered in this light if he didn't die to cancer very young.

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u/Windows_66 Nov 29 '22

Tom Holland's getting casted in everything these days.

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u/velkoz007 Nov 29 '22

Didn’t Starlord get Chris Pratt lots of roles afterward too??

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u/Windows_66 Nov 29 '22

Yes.

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u/zigmister21 Nov 29 '22

I always thought parks and rec is what make him popular, not GotG

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u/noodlesofdoom Nov 29 '22

Parks and Rec got him GotG, GotG opened up a lot more doors for him.

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u/janeeiskla Nov 29 '22

yes, but the way I interpret what is being said is not that they aren't stars who land a lot of roles and have name recognition. Instead it's that people are not gonna go out and watch the "new Chris Pratt movie" the way we used to go watch the new Schwarzenegger movie. Jurassic Park did well, but that was another well-established fanchise. Barely anyone gave a shit about that spaceship movie.

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u/trippy_grapes Nov 30 '22

And I haven't went to a film just because it starred Holland in them, which was Tarantino's point.

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u/Cannaewulnaewidnae Nov 29 '22

I liked Boseman and he was a very good actor, but he was only a movie star in the same sense as someone like Jack O'Connell or Domhnall Gleeson

However good those guys are in a movie, nobody went to see that movie because they were in it

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u/JimJonesSuckerPunch Nov 30 '22

The Chadwick example is a bad one to use as he only became as big of a star as he did because he died, like heath ledger. Not trying to disparage either actor, as they are both very competent, but the died a hero instead of living to do another role that wasn't as good.

The idea that the movie star is dead is true. Nobody gives a shit who is playing what role. I'm paying to see a movie, if I wanted a hot take from Tom Cruise or Chris Pratt I would check social media not pay for a movie ticket.

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u/Hellkyte Nov 30 '22

Quentin Tarrantinos entire catalogue are movies that would have been amazing graphic novels.

They all have that sort of floating surreal feel surrounding intense violence and comedy.

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u/Desperate-Laugh-7257 Nov 30 '22

Wtf pizzed in Tarantino’s corn flakes this morning.

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u/SnooPies6274 Nov 30 '22

Well Chadwick didn’t only play Black Panther. Check the tape dude was an incredible actor.

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u/surprisemuthafuckka Nov 30 '22

Ya’ll don’t realize it’s a marketing ploy to get exposure. Tarantino has his own projects coming out soon after a while in the shadows. Mission accomplished.

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u/FifaConCarne Nov 30 '22

Thor landing in the middle of the battle to rock music in Endgame, is more badass than any Tarantino movie. Not saying he doesn't make some classics, like Pulp Fiction, but lets not get too full of ourselves, shall we?

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u/johnnyss1 Nov 30 '22

Scarlett Johansson is a movie star.

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u/GrumpyCatDoge99 Nov 30 '22

I personally find it funny how much directors like Tarantino hate MCU so much.

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u/ShanDoyle8710 Nov 29 '22

I think Tarantino’s point is that none of the Marvel actors, and I can’t think of any, are a box office draw in anything where they actually do interesting character acting. His point was that the Marvel characters are the stars of the movies and not the actors.

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u/NakedGoose Nov 29 '22

Was he? I think that is debatable. Just depends on how you characterize a movie star. Is it someone that can get any movies they want made in leading roles like say Dwayne Johnson or Tom Cruise. Is it someone who has endless award nominations and wins like Dicaprio or Streep. Is it someone who is the lead in multiple box office success or Franchises?

I am not sure you can put Chadwick in any of these categories, because outside of Marvel his movies weren't making a ton of money, and he wasn't really able to get things made. Unfortunately I think Chadwick was on the cusp of stardom before his passing. But you never really know.

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u/PoopyMcPooperstain Nov 29 '22

Just depends on how you characterize a movie star.

This right here is really the heart of the entire discussion and why I think there isn't really a clear cut answer.

To some people a movie star is a larger than life personality who can, through their name alone, sell tickets to a movie with wide appeal and success.

To others a movie star is any recognizable actor that plays a leading role in a movie.

Neither of these definitions is really wrong, and I'm sure you could come up with other similarly distinct definitions that you could make work as well.

Regardless of how anybody feels about though, I don't think it can be denied that the landscapes of movies has changed in recent years, specifically when it comes to the relationship "star power" has with the success of a film.

Maybe whether who is or isn't the star of a superhero movie is just a matter of semantics, but I don't think it can be argued that the basis behind what Tarantino said is untrue - it's the characters/IPs that are selling tickets these days, not the actors.

Hell, marvel is so confident in the star power of their characters vs their actors they intentionally kept it secret who the main character was even going to be in the new Black Panther.

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u/Wain609 Nov 29 '22

He was great in Marshall. Shame, i think he could have grown with us the way Denzel and Morgan Freeman have. He was very talented and quite charismatic.

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u/I_chose_a_nickname Nov 30 '22

I like how he invoked the name of a beloved, dead, black actor so anything Tarantino would say in response would look bad.

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u/Ash_Killem Nov 30 '22

It’s a weak take. People still definitely go to the movies to see certain actors.

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u/ninneemugginss Nov 29 '22

Chadwick will always be the badass from 21 bridges