Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson are longtime friends and collaborators, but they don’t necessarily see eye to eye when it comes to Marvel actors being movie stars. Tarantino ignited a fierce debate on social media this month when he said that Marvel actors are not movie stars. In Tarantino’s view, it’s the character of Captain America that is the movie star and gets people into the theater and not Chris Evans. Jackson somewhat challenged that claim during an interview on “The View” (via Entertainment Weekly).
“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 when asked about Tarantino’s comment. “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.”
Jackson is a staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Nick Fury. Tarantino was on the “2 Bears, 1 Cave” podcast in mid-November when he first claimed that Marvel actors aren’t movie stars.
“Part of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood is…you have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters,” Tarantino 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.”
Jackson has long championed his role of Nick Fury, which he has been playing since he first popped up in the end credits scene of 2008’s “Iron Man.” Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in June, Jackson said that he’d rather play Nick Fury than take on any Oscar-baiting roles.
“I was never going to let the Oscars be a measure of my success or failure as an actor,” Jackson said. “My yardstick of success is my happiness: Am I satisfied with what I’m doing? I’m not doing statue-chasing movies. You know [whispers]: ‘If you do this movie, you’ll win an Oscar.’ No, thanks. I’d rather be Nick Fury. Or having fun being Mace Windu with a lightsaber in my hand.”
Jackson will return as Nick Fury in the Disney+ limited series “Secret Invasion,” set to stream in 2023.