Tom Holland Claps Back at Martin Scorsese’s Criticism of Marvel Movies

The Spider-Man star disagrees with Scorsese's belief that Marvel films are not real art

tom holland martin scorsese marvel criticism superhero movies not art mcu
Tom Holland (Sony Pictures) / Martin Scorsese (BBC)

    Tom Holland has a message for Martin Scorsese, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man: don’t knock it till you try it.

    In the wake of Spider-Man: No Way Home’s massive arrival at the box office, the Marvel star responded to the director’s belief that the superhero films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe don’t qualify as art.

    “You can ask [Martin] Scorsese ‘Would you want to make a Marvel movie?’ But he doesn’t know what it’s like because he’s never made one,” Holland asserted in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve made Marvel movies and I’ve also made movies that have been in the conversation in the world of the Oscars, and the only difference, really, is one is much more expensive than the other. But the way I break down the character, the way the director etches out the arc of the story and characters — it’s all the same, just done on a different scale. So I do think they’re real art.”

    He continued: “When you’re making these films, you know that good or bad, millions of people will see them, whereas when you’re making a small indie film, if it’s not very good no one will watch it, so it comes with different levels of pressure. I mean, you can also ask Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr. or Scarlett Johansson — people who have made the kinds of movies that are ‘Oscar-worthy’ and also made superhero movies — and they will tell you that they’re the same, just on a different scale. And there’s less Spandex in ‘Oscar movies.'”


    In its opening weekend, the latest Spidey threequel rocketed its way to a $260 million haul — not only setting the pandemic-era record at the theater, but also notching the second-best opening weekend of all time and becoming the best-selling movie of 2021 in the process. The success of No Way Home hasn’t slowed since then, as over the weekend it surpassed $1 billion globally.

    Up next, Holland is set to star in the big-screen adaptation of video game Uncharted alongside Mark Wahlberg, which will premiere February 18th. Meanwhile, Scorsese’s upcoming projects include the ludicrously star-studded Killers of the Flower Moon and Apple’s as-yet-untitled Grateful Dead biopic starring Jonah Hill as Jerry Garcia.