Filmmaker Martin Scorsese has not changed his mind about film franchises lacking depth as cinematic works.
Regarding what interviewer Zach Baron called "the glut of franchise and comic book entertainment," Scorsese said: "The danger there is what it's doing to our culture." He added, "Because there are going to be generations now that think movies are only those — that's what movies are."
Scorsese admitted that "I don't want to say it," but "it's almost like AI making a film. And that doesn't mean that you don't have incredible directors and special effects people doing beautiful artwork. But what does it mean? What do these films, what will it give you? Aside from a kind of consummation of something and then eliminating it from your mind, your whole body, you know? So what is it giving you?"
The Oscar-winning director previously received backlash for comparing Marvel movies to "theme parks" despite believing that they are "well-made" with "actors doing the best they can under the circumstances."
Martin Scorsese believes 'I don't really belong' in Hollywood
When it comes to Hollywood, Scorsese − who lives in Manhattan − feels like "I don't really belong there anyway."
"Most of my friends are gone," he said when asked if he'd travel to Los Angeles. "They're all new people. I don't know them anymore. It's a new town. It's a new industry. And it's nice. It's just like, I can't hang out there. Except when I'm with Leo (DiCaprio)."
One of the times he realized he was out of step with the rest of the film industry was when studio executives wanted "The Departed" to have sequel potential, Scorsese said. Purportedly, Warner Bros. asked to change the fates of the 2006 film's lead characters.
"What they wanted was a franchise. It wasn't about a moral issue of a person living or dying," Scorsese said. "Which means: I can’t work here anymore."
Martin Scorsese says 'we've got to save cinema'
The antidote to Hollywood's reliance on film franchises is to "fight back stronger. And it's got to come from the grassroots level. It’s gotta come from the filmmakers themselves," Scorsese said.
For Scorsese, filmmaking seems to be about creating something meaningful.
"What I mean is that you gotta rip it out of your skull and your guts," he said. "What do you really feel should be said at this point in life by you? You gotta say something with a movie. Otherwise, what’s the point of making it? You’ve got to be saying something."
Studios are not "interested any longer in supporting individual voices that express their personal feelings or their personal thoughts and personal ideas and feelings on a big budget. And what's happened now is that they've pigeonholed it to what they call indies."
As for how much longer he can keep doing this work, Scorsese answered, "I'm gonna try until they pick me up off the floor. What can I tell you?"
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Martin Scorsese says film franchises, comic book movies are a 'danger'