‘Dune’ Director Denis Villeneuve Slammed Marvel Movies for Being ‘Nothing More Than a Cut and Paste of Others’ That ‘Turned Us Into Zombies’

Another day, another director was asked about the Marvel Cinematic Universe in an interview. Director Denis Villeneuve is currently doing a ton of press for his upcoming sci-fi film Dune, set to release in the United States on Oct. 22. 

With so many stars and such a complex story and world, the film is big-budget and uses special effects. But that’s not the issue Villeneuve has with MCU movies. 

Denis Villeneuve’s highly-anticipated new film, ‘Dune,’ comes out very soon

Denis Villeneuve at the 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards Press Conference during the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on Sept. 11, 2021
Denis Villeneuve at the 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards Press Conference during the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on Sept. 11, 2021 | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

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As stated before, Dune is set to premiere later in October. The movie star Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica (Paul’s mother), Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides (Paul’s father), Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Jason Mamoa, and many more well-known names. It’s based on the 1965 novel of the same name and already had a 1984 film made as well.

This remake is already set to be a “Part One,” and is set far, far into the future on the desert planet of Arrakis. “Dune” is another name for the planet. Paul is nobility and in charge of the only thing worth any value on this planet. As you can imagine, that can come with a lot of pressure and hazards. 

Villeneuve directed Dune and it isn’t the first remake or sequel he’s done. He also directed Blade Runner 2049 in 2017. Sicario, starring Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, and Josh Brolin, is another film Villeneuve directed as well. 

In a new interview, Villeneuve shares his unflattering opinion on Marvel movies

Again, despite Villeneuve not being a newcomer to big-budget films, his qualms are actually about what’s in the Marvel movies. In an interview with El Mundo (via The Direct) on Sept. 16, Villeneuve lamented that Marvel movies are formulaic and so much so that they’ve taken on a recent What If…? monster: the zombie

“Perhaps the problem is that we are in front of too many Marvel movies that are nothing more than a ‘cut and paste’ of others,” Villeneuve said. “Perhaps these types of movies have turned us into zombies a bit… But big and expensive movies of great value there are many today. I don’t feel capable of being pessimistic at all.”

However, he did have some good things to say about Blockbuster movies that make money and that he still deems as artistic or worthy of praise. 

“Just think of the golden age of Hollywood to see that commercial films can make a different artistic proposal and, therefore, political,” he said. “I have never felt like a loss or an impediment to have a generous budget to do what I wanted to do. Upside down. Who said that a movie on a big budget can’t be artistically relevant at the same time? I am currently thinking of people like Christopher Nolan or Alfonso Cuarón.”

So while Villeneuve doesn’t have an issue with the budget of MCU movies, he just doesn’t like the repetitive nature of them that exists, in his opinion. He told the French publication Premiere on Sept. 14 that Marvel movies are “made from the same mold.”

“Some filmmakers can add a little color to it, but they’re all cast in the same factory,” he stated. “It doesn’t take anything away from the movies, but they are formatted.”

Chloe Zhao actually used stills from Villeneuve’s past films to pitch ‘The Eternals,’ an MCU movie coming in November

The added flare he mentioned he might enjoy is probably in reference to the praise he gave fellow director Chloé Zhao who’s directing The Eternals.

“I’m your biggest fan,” he told her in a Harper’s Bazaar conversation earlier this month. “I think it’s genius that Marvel approached you because you’re the radical opposite of it aesthetically.”

It still sounds like a bit of a backhanded compliment to Marvel while uplifting Zhao up. And she then went on the share that he’s also a big inspiration to her, actually using stills from some of his movies to pitch The Eternals.

So in a funny turn of events, Villeneuve inadvertently influenced a Marvel film after all. Hopefully, that one isn’t too formulaic for him. At least he can’t say the locations and sets are because he had a say in them in a roundabout way. 

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