Samuel L. Jackson Claps Back At Quentin Tarantino
Director Quentin Tarantino, as most auteurs have been doing in the last few years, recently took a shot at actors in Marvel movies that did not sit well with his famous Pulp Fiction star, Samuel L. Jackson. Per reports from Entertainment Weekly, it was the director’s comment about how Marvel actors are not genuine movie stars that prompted the man behind Jules Winnfield to fire back. Tarantino claimed that the character, not the actor, was the real star, and in characteristic fashion, Jackson refuted the claim with his usual fiery passion.
From the set of The View, Samuel L. Jackson boldly stated that “it takes an actor to be those particular characters, and the sign of movie stardom is what? Asses in seats?” Jackson continued, bringing up just one example of a Marvel star that brought life to his role, in the late, great Chadwick Boseman. “Chadwick Boseman is Black Panther. You can’t refute that, and he’s a movie star.”
One of the biggest MCU stars, thanks to his role as Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson has been part of some of Hollywood’s top-grossing films in history. The success of Disney’s Marvel movies is what has prompted critics, such as Tarantino or Martin Scorsese, to speak out against what they see as the “Marvelization of Hollywod.” As Jackson pointed out, it takes actors to bring the characters to life, with such stars as the three Chrises, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Pratt finding lasting box office success outside of their most well-known roles.
Another Marvel star, Simu Liu, star of Shang-Chi, fired back at Tarantino’s comments as well, stating, “If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I never would have had the opportunity to lead a $400 million plus movie.” Samuel L. Jackson’s point that the stars make the characters is only reinforced by the success of Shang-Chi, a Marvel D-list character given new life thanks to Simu Liu’s performance.
Regrettably, the other side of the superhero movie fence has plenty of cases where a hit character does not automatically lead to success for the actor portraying them, specifically regarding The Flash. Played by Ezra Miller in Justice League, the role of Barry Allen should have been an easy path to movie stardom. Miller’s performance as the scarlet speedster, however, was lambasted by critics and fans, with the actor unable to raise their performance to another level.
Samuel L. Jackson, in working with Marvel, has not had to deal with a superhero disaster on par with the DCEU, though the success of Jason Momoa’s Aquaman shows again that an actor can lift a subpar character. While Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury has not been seen or heard from during the latest phase of Marvel movies, the upcoming Disney+ series, Secret Invasion, brings the superspy front and center.
Dealing with the shapeshifting alien Skrulls, Fury appears to have his work cut out for him in stopping the infiltrators that can appear as anyone at any time. Following Secret Invasion, Jackson is likely to be one of the many, many stars returning for the mega-crossover event Secret Wars, which will bring with it a new era for the MCU, nearly 20 years after the movie star started the whole universe in the first place.