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Scorsese’s Marvel-bashing might hurt ‘The Irishman’ in a way he never anticipated

Published Nov 15th, 2019 11:14AM EST
Martin Scorsese The Irishman
Image: YouTube

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Years in the making, The Irishman is surely going to be a great mobster movie, featuring a fabulous cast and a director who made a name for himself with this very genre. It’s also a film that targets Oscar season, which is why it saw a limited theatrical release a few days ago. Theaters, however, aren’t pleased with the fact that Martin Scorsese’s latest movie is made by Netflix, so the film had a hard time getting deals with cinema chains. Maybe that’s why Scorsese said what he said about Marvel movies, doubling down on the idea that superhero films aren’t cinema just a few days ago. As it turns out, Scorsese’s comments might end up hurting him and his new movie in a way he never could have anticipated.

An unnamed Academy member remarked “what a snob!” to Variety when asked about Scorsese’s The New York Times Op-Ed, in which he defended his initial stance on Marvel movies. While it’s too early to say whether The Irishman will get any nominations, Variety says that Scorsese’s comments may have really hurt the film’s chances of scoring big at the Oscars.

“I have been to a lot of Academy screenings this year, and I have never seen anything as crowded as ‘Endgame,’” said an Academy member.

The report notes that the Academy has increasingly younger members who are the kind of voters that may be partial to Marvel movies, and who may have helped Black Panther become the first Marvel film to score a best picture nomination.

It doesn’t help The Irishman that it’s first and foremost a Netflix film, and Netflix has been struggling to get into the Oscars, at least until last year’s Roma. In fact, some people think that Netflix films aren’t worthy of Academy Awards, with Steven Spielberg being a prominent voice who took a stance against Netflix not too long ago.

It’s certainly possible that The Irishman will still get the attention it likely deserves, as well as Oscar nominations. Variety notes that one awards consultant thinks The Irishman still has a chance at the Oscars in spite of Scorsese’s shots at Marvel. But Scorsese might have just made everything a lot more complicated than it should have been.

The Irishman premieres on Netflix on November 27th.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.