Pulp Fiction star Samuel L. Jackson has hit back at Quentin Tarantino’s comments that superheroes killed the movie star.
During an interview with The View, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, the actor, who is also a longtime collaborator of Tarantino’s, refuted the director’s comments.
“It takes an actor to be those particular characters, and the mark of movie stardom has always been, what, bums on chairs? What are we talking about?” Jackson said. “It’s not a big controversy for me to know that apparently these actors are movie stars. Chadwick Boseman is Black Panther. You can’t deny that, and he’s a movie star.”
Tarantino recently angered Hollywood with comments suggesting that Marvel movie stars are no longer movie stars… and the MCU and its characters are now the box office draw.
“You have all these actors who became famous playing these characters,” he said. “But they’re not movie stars. Right? Captain America is the star. Or Thor is the star. I mean, I’m not the first person to say that. I think this has been said a billion times… but it’s like, you know, these franchise characters become stars.”
This isn’t the first time Tarantino has apparently been disappointed with Marvel movies, also stating that he would never make a Marvel or DC movie.
“You have to be hired to do these things,” he explained. “I am not an employee. I’m not looking for a job.”
Jackson notably plays Nick Fury in the MCU, so he’s not exactly unbiased… but the rejection of such a frequent collaborator has to sting, at least a little.
Unfortunately, he’s not the only Marvel star to criticize Tarantino’s comments.
“If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom had come from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to direct a $400 million-plus movie,” said Shang-Chi star Simu Liu.
He also said he was proud to work with a studio that made “sustained efforts to improve diversity on screen.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – New trailer images
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever recently continued this push for diversity by introducing characters like new MCU characters Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) as well as Namor (Tenoch Huerta).
IGN’s review of Wakanda Forever gave it a 7/10 and said, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was meant to be a sequel to a great cultural legacy, a tease of future MCU adventures, and of course, a loving farewell. There are times when the struggle to balance these mandates scatters the focus of the story, but the nuanced and committed performances of the returning cast keep it grounded when it counts.”
Want to read more about Black Panther? Check out the rankings of Marvel’s Phase 4 movies and TV shows, as well as the big questions we have for the future of the MCU after Black Panther 2.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow it further Twitter.