Samuel L. Jackson disagrees with Quentin Tarantino about Marvel actors

Quentin Tarantino has gotten a lot of headlines in the past month as he promotes his book, Cinema Speculation. QT has been asked a lot about the state of filmmaking today, Disney/Marvel’s takeover of Hollywood, whether diverse stories can be made today, and whether this era represents the death of the “movie star.” In QT’s opinion, the actors who appear in Marvel movies aren’t the ones drawing people to theaters – he recently said: “You have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters… But they’re not movie stars. Right? Captain America is the star. Or Thor is the star… it’s these franchise characters that become a star.” Which is, in my opinion, merely a factual observation and not even a slam. But Samuel L. Jackson disagrees. Sam is a regular in QT’s films and he’s also Nick Fury in the Marvel films.

The Avengers actor Samuel L. Jackson is seemingly double-daring his Pulp Fiction director to take another shot at Marvel stars. After Quentin Tarantino recently spoke out against the “Marvel-ization of Hollywood” and stated that the franchise’s actors aren’t genuine movie stars on the 2 Bears, 1 Cave podcast, Jackson addressed his frequent collaborator’s comments on Tuesday’s episode of The View.

“It takes an actor to be those particular characters, and the sign of movie stardom has always been, what, asses in seats? What are we talking about?” Jackson, who regularly appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Nick Fury, said. “That’s not a big controversy for me to know that apparently these actors are movie stars. Chadwick Boseman is Black Panther. You can’t refute that, and he’s a movie star.”

[From EW]

I think Jackson is doing the same thing that so many Marvel fans did, which is purposefully confuse the idea that QT said “Marvel actors aren’t movie stars.” He didn’t say that. Samuel L. Jackson is a movie star. Chris Evans is a movie star. Jeff Bridges is a movie star. Chadwick Boseman was a movie star. Robert Redford is a movie star. Angelina Jolie is a movie star. But none of those actors are movie stars *because* they appeared in Marvel films. They brought their movie star personas into the Marvel franchises. And even if those actors didn’t play those roles, the same asses would have been in the same seats, because people would have still gone to the theater to see whatever Marvel movie starring different actors. That’s all QT was saying – people see the films because of the Marvel brand, not the individual actors.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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10 Responses to “Samuel L. Jackson disagrees with Quentin Tarantino about Marvel actors”

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  1. The Old Chick says:

    Would Hemsworth (Chris) be where he is without Thor? No, I doubt it. He’s good looking and can be funny. He doesn’t have much range other than good looking and muscly. But I look at unknown actors who get a huge TV hit and many (most?) of them fall into the same category. They rarely translate to other hit roles or hit actors in movies. Some exceptions, of course..

  2. AmelieOriginal says:

    I dunno about most of you but I had no idea who Chris Evans was until he did Captain America? I know he had done other things before that but Captain America is what made him globally famous, he was not a household name before that. Captain America made him a movie star in my opinion. Samuel L. Jackson was already super famous when he did Nick Fury. Marvel doesn’t usually pick no name actors (they’ve done it on a few occasions) and they have picked semi famous people and very famous people for their roles.

    So in my opinion Marvel has made some movie stars out of its semi famous cast members where people were able to establish a serious movie career outside of Marvel like Chris Evans or Tom Holland (hasn’t really done that for female cast members in my opinion but there are so many Marvel actors out there so I’m probably missing some). I don’t necessarily need a movie star to be a certain character as long as they do a good job in the role. Marvel is just good at casting actors in roles for the most part it seems?

    • DeniseMich says:

      The current iteration of Marvel movies has taken Oscar caliber directors , writers and actors to make box office hits. The stories within the Marvel comics was not enough.

      Let’s not forget, DareDevil (Ben Affleck) and Hulk (Edward Norton). There were a lot of flops until they figured out how to make this work.

    • ML says:

      I totally agree with Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth.

  3. Mel says:

    So much saltiness. Look, people go see these movies because they’re almost guaranteed to have a good time. No one is talking about the real reason a lot of these movies are not doing well, going to the movies is EXPENSIVE, especially if you have a family. Back in the day, you’d up and decide to spend you $5 and pop into any movie, maybe you’d luck out. Now at 15-20 a pop , more if you do I-max and all the other nonsense folks are out to get the bang for their buck, they’re not interested in spending that for a small movie that they know they can catch streaming. It all comes of as using pretension to hide your jealousy. Frankly for most Americans, If you don’t have a bang, you don’t get a buck.

    • MrsBanjo says:

      This. It’s too stupidly expensive for most of us to see movies regularly anymore, so when we do go, we want to have fun. Especially if we have kids. Marvel movies and the like are fun.

    • Christine says:

      This. Going to the movies has gotten so expensive the only time I do go is for the fun, mindless Marvel movies. Not to mention 3 hour Tarantino movies are exhausting. I don’t want to sit for that long unless I’m at home, comfy with a drink on my sofa.

    • ML says:

      We actually haven’t been to the movies since Covid. The reason we haven’t been back since as a family: right now food and fuel prices have exploded and that impacts our decisions. Plus for our family to see a film, it costs €66, and that’s not including snacks or (if necessary) 3D glasses—the cost of a night at the movies can run about €90 to €100. So, yeah, we want to have a great time and we want something that everyone in the family will enjoy.

  4. Chantal says:

    QTs statement illustrates why Hwood seldom nominates actors in superhero movies for their various awards, despite excellent acting/portrayals. His statement, while true for some characters and franchises, ignores the characters/franchises that bombed at the box office, despite star power. Comic book fans can be very fickle and judgemental and demonstrate their pleasure or displeasure by their attendance/money spent at movies.
    SLJ is right. The actors portrayal of the character is oftentimes more important than the superhero itself. Robert Downey Jr is Iron Man. Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. Catwoman, Green Arrow, and several Batman movies were embarrassing box office bombs bc of miscasting. DC has severe miscasting issues that almost destroyed their franchises. George Clooney and Ben Affleck as Batman? – (he was also Daredevil) They were already well established and popular movie stars but were not great for those roles. There were petitions wanting Ben Affleck to be replaced as Batman. Marvels box office domination upset many filmmakers and directors and definitely led to a decrease in the quality and creativity of non superhero movies. Its why there’s a proliferation of older movie reaction videos by young people on YT.

  5. The Recluse says:

    What Tarantino doesn’t seem to acknowledge is that the industry has changed. A couple of decades ago (!!!!) I read that the industry couldn’t count on a movie star’s name to attract a good box office anymore. There were still a handful of exceptions then and maybe now too, but the system wasn’t functioning the way it did in the 80s even. Marvel provides stories and usually excellent casting that enhances the stories that attract audiences, who might normally stay home. (Our local theater just bumped their prices up by 2 bucks, even on the matinee prices! Instead of 7.50, it’s 9.50! And they just installed stadium seating with deluxe seats, but this price jump will discourage movie goers in my small town.)
    Streaming has definitely had an impact, complicated by COVID, too.
    Marvel has definitely minted some movie stars too, as someone pointed out above.
    Tarantino may be stuck too long in his auteur bubble to realize what is going on.