Marvel cinematic universe star Stellan Skarsgard has given his rather sensible take on whether superhero films are really ‘ruining’ cinema. 

Stellan Skarsgard is known for many outstanding roles, but he’s certainly recognisable to many as Doctor Erik Selvig, one of the many characters with an exceedingly big brain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Skarsgard himself seems to be no slouch in the grey matter department either, offering up an unusually nuanced take on the state of cinema, in an era where its fashionable to take the reductive path and simply bash superhero films, as we saw director Ridley Scott do last week. Skarsgard chose to recognise that some filmmakers like Martin Scorsese aren’t simply taking an oppositional stance for a sake of it, but often making good points that are lost in the rush for clickbait hyperbole.

Speaking at the Gotenberg Film Festival, Skarsgard was asked for his thoughts on the matter, and had this to say.

“What Martin Scorsese wrote in his article [in the New York Times] was not that it was Marvel’s fault because it’s not and he knows that. The fault is that we have, for decades, believed that the market should rule everything and that the rich should get richer. And that is the root of it all because what has happened is that all the different small distribution companies have been erased. It’s a monopoly everywhere. Some film companies are not anymore run by people who want to make money specifically out of the film because they like the film. They are run by big corporations that want 10% back on their invested capital. Which means that as long as they sell popcorn, it’s fine. That’s why all the mid-range films lower than 100 million dollars in budget and over three million dollars in budget, they don’t exist anymore.”

See? We told you it was smart. They say that art mirrors life, and in this case, Skarsgard believes that cinema is simply reflecting the inequalities inherent within the wider world. It’s a sobering thought that adds something genuinely insightful to the debate, which we’re sure is far from over.

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