Samuel L Jackson unsurprisingly took great offence to Quentin Tarantino’s claims that Marvel actors ‘aren’t movie stars’ being, you know, a Marvel actor himself.
Kill Bill director Tarantino sparked a huge debate when he recently criticised the Marvel Cinematic Universe and said that, while he doesn’t ‘hate’ the studio, he disliked that they were ‘the only things that seem to get made’ in modern Hollywood.
Simu Liu, who starred in Marvel’s 2021 blockbuster Shang-Chi, was among those firing back at Tarantino’s sentiments, and now Jackson has shared his thoughts.
Jackson, 73, and Tarantino, 59, are longtime colleagues having worked together on several movies including Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight.
Addressing the director’s comments, Jackson – who has played superhero Nick Fury in several MCU movies – said on The View: ‘Chadwick Boseman is Black Panther. You can’t refute that, and he’s a movie star.
‘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?’
He added: ‘That’s not a big controversy for me to know that apparently these actors are movie stars.’
Of course, Jackson was referring to Chadwick Boseman’s acclaimed and nuanced performance as King T’Challa in 2018’s Black Panther which grossed nearly $1.4billion (£1.1bn) at the box office.
Tarantino made his remarks earlier this month in an episode of 2 Bears 1 Cave, stating: ‘Part of the Marvelisation of Hollywood is… you have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters. But they’re not movie stars.
‘Captain America is the star, or Thor is the star. I think that’s been said a zillion times… but it’s these franchise characters that become a star.’
Responding to Tarantino’s comments on Twitter, Liu said: ‘If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to lead a $400million (£331m) 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.’
He continued: ‘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.
‘I loved the “Golden Age” too… but it was white as hell.’
The 33-year-old Canadian actor previously explained that he wanted to change direction after featuring in Shang-Chi and took parts in the highly anticipated Barbie live-action movie with Margot Robbie, and the romantic film One True Loves, to avoid being typecast.
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