'Shang-Chi' star Simu Liu responds after Quentin Tarantino criticizes Marvel movies

"They don't get to point their nose at me or anyone," Liu wrote.

November 23, 2022, 12:00 PM

Writer-director Quentin Tarantino recently opened up on his thoughts on the "Marvel-ization of Hollywood" and his problem with films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But this time, one of Marvel's stars has pushed back: Simu Liu.

While appearing on comedian Tom Segura's "Two Bears, One Cave" podcast to discuss his new book, "Cinema Speculation," Tarantino shared his criticism of not only Marvel movies, but also the actors who lead them.

When asked by the Segura if he feels there are fewer "real movie stars" in Hollywood, Tarantino said, "I'm not even putting them down frankly to tell you the truth, but that is one of the -- the legacy of the 'Marvel-ization' of Hollywood movies."

Before continuing, he prefaced his new comments by saying, "I don't hate them, all right, but I don't love them. I mean, look, I used to collect Marvel comics like crazy when I was a kid. There's an aspect that if these movies were coming out when I was in my 20s, I would totally be f------ happy and totally love them ... but, you know, I'm almost 60, so ... I'm not quite as excited about them."

He then explained his main issue with the films. "My only axe to grind against them is they're the only things that seem to be made," he said. "And they're the only things that seem to generate any kind of excitement amongst a fan base or even for the studio making them. That's what they're excited about."

He added, "So it's just the fact that they are the entire representation of this era of movies right now. There's not really much room for anything else. That's my problem."

The Oscar-winning "Pulp Fiction" screenwriter added later, "Part of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood is ... you have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters. But they're not movie stars. Captain America is the star, Thor is the star."

One of those stars, "Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings" lead Liu has since responded, also referencing Martin Scorsese's 2019 criticism that Marvel movies were "not cinema."

"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," Simu tweeted Tuesday. "I am in awe of their filmmaking genius. They are transcendent auteurs. But they don't get to point their nose at me or anyone."

In a follow-up tweet, he added, "No movie studio is or ever will be perfect. But I'm proud to work with one that has made sustained efforts to improve diversity onscreen by creating heroes that empower and inspire people of all communities everywhere."

PHOTO: Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS.
Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS.
Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

"I loved the 'Golden Age' too," he concluded, "but it was white as hell."

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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