Damon Lindelof has joined the ever-growing ranks of filmmakers offering their thoughts on the place of the MCU within modern cinema.
Marvel’s cinematic universe has given us lots of the years, in every sense. One of the more interesting gifts the MCU has offered us is as a subject upon which a wide spectrum of creators can offer their thoughts on cinema itself. You don’t need us to remind you that legendary director Martin Scorsese cast the debate regarding the MCU’s status as cinema into sharp relief a couple of years ago and ever since, filmmakers have continued to throw their lot in, one one side of the fence or another.
Whilst the perspectives of most filmmakers are usually pretty easy to predict, the recent opinion of Damon Lindelof may be a little surprising. After all, nobody was really surprised when directors such as Jane Campion, Francis Ford Coppola or Fernando Meirelles threw their lot in with Scorsese. Lindelof however is a franchise filmmaker, having being an integral part of franchises such as Star Trek, Alien and Watchmen. With that noted, his comments on Vulture's Into It podcast then are perhaps a little unexpected:
“From a slightly more cynical standpoint, this is a business. It’s an industry”, he argues. “And if you make a couple of great Marvel movies, the instinct is ‘we need to make more Marvel movies, and we need to expand this.’ And I have this sort of interior feeling of like, ‘Wow, I wish they made less because it would make each one that came out a little bit more special.’ But I watch all of them. People don’t want things to end. I do'”.
That last line is Lindelof suggesting that he wishes Marvel would stop making movies. Whilst the franchise filmmaker wouldn’t elaborate why he felt that way, his suggestion is that coming so frequently, these films really don’t carry as much weight as they used to. It’s a valid point, although Lindelof also expressed an appreciation as to why those behind the MCU might want to keep the train rolling: “It’s always going to be hard because once you’ve got someone’s attention, you want to keep it. And so the idea of letting it go and not knowing if you’re ever going to get it back again is sort of like, it’s antithetical to the way that we’re wired.”
So there you have it. It’s a different take to other directors who have simply dismissed the MCU films as not being cinema. Lindelof, who has made sequels, prequels and doesn’t have a problem with that model simply thinks that the MCU has become over-exposed.
Retreating from cinema screens is something the Star Wars franchise is experimenting with at the moment, with ongoing rumours persisting that Lindelof is working on a new Star Wars film, he may yet benefit from a blockbuster franchise finding audience appreciation by simply not being in audience’s faces all of the time.
What do you feel about Lindelof’s thoughts? Is this a smart take? Let us know in the comments below.
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