Pulp Fiction star Samuel L. Jackson has snapped back against Quentin Tarantino’s comments that superheroes have killed the movie star.
During an interview with The View, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, the actor, who is also a long-time collaborator of Tarantino’s, refuted the filmmaker’s comments.
“It takes an actor to be those particular characters, and the sign of movie stardom has always been, what, asses in seats? What are we talking about?” Jackson said. “That’s not a big controversy for me to know that apparently, these actors are movie stars. Chadwick Boseman is Black Panther. You can’t refute that, and he’s a movie star.”
Tarantino recently riled Hollywood with comments suggesting that the stars of Marvel’s movies are no longer movie stars… and it’s the MCU and its characters that are now the box office draw.
“You have all these actors who have become 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 that’s been said a zillion times… but it’s like, you know, it’s these franchise characters that become a star.”
It’s not the first time Tarantino has been seemingly down on Marvel movies, also stating that he would never make a Marvel or DC film.
“You have to be a hired hand to do those things,” he explained. “I’m not a hired hand. I’m not looking for a job.”
Jackson notably plays Nick Fury in the MCU, so he’s not exactly unbiased… but pushback from such a frequent collaborator must sting, at least a little.
Unfortunately, he’s not the only Marvel star to slam Tarantino’s comments.
“If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to lead a $400 million plus movie,” said Shang-Chi star Simu Liu.
He also said he’s proud to work with a studio that has made “sustained efforts to improve diversity onscreen”.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – New Trailer Images
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever recently continued that push for diversity, introducing the likes of new MCU characters Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) as well as Namor (Tenoch Huerta).
IGN’s review of Wakanda Forever gave it 7/10 and said: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had to be a sequel to a cultural juggernaut, a tease of upcoming MCU adventures, and of course, a loving farewell. There are stretches where the struggle to balance those mandates scatters the focus of the story, but nuanced and committed performances from the returning cast keep it grounded when it counts.”
Want to read more about Black Panther? Check out our 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 him on Twitter.