Martin Scorsese has dismissed superhero films and said they are “not cinema”.
The director, one of the most venerated figures in film, compared the genre currently dominating the market to “theme parks”.
Asked if he had seen any of Marvel’s multi-billion dollar-grossing superhero films, Scorsese, 76, told Empire magazine: “I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema.
“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.
“It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
Earlier this year, Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame became the highest grossing film ever, raking in 2.79 billion US dollars (£2.3 billion) at the global box office.
It was the studio’s latest film in its Marvel Cinematic Universe, which also includes characters such as Iron Man, Spider-Man and Captain America.
The Irishman director Scorsese’s comments sparked a backlash on Twitter.
James Gunn, the director of Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, tweeted: “I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film.
“I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way.
“That said, I will always love Scorsese, be grateful for his contributions to cinema, and can’t wait to see The Irishman.”
C Robert Cargill wrote the screenplay for Doctor Strange and described Scorsese as a “genius”, but added: “Anyone who thinks Marvel is only trying to make theme park rides is being unjust and cynical.”
Scorsese’s films include Raging Bull, Goodfellas and The Departed, which won him the Academy Award for best director in 2006.