Director Terry Gilliam Slams Marvel Movies and ‘Black Panther’: ‘It’s Utter Bulls**t’

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 20: Terry Gilliam attends the 61st San Sebastian Film Festival inauguration at Kursaal on September 20, 2013 in San Sebastian, Spain. (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images)
Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images

Acclaimed Hollywood filmmaker Terry Gilliam is the latest director to come out swinging against the Marvel superhero movie universe, singling out Black Panther as “utter bullshit.”

The Monty Python veteran spoke recently to Indiewire about his latest movie The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which has been plagued by delays and legal problems. But the conversation veered toward Disney’s Marvel movies and Gilliam’s unfiltered antipathy toward them.

“I don’t like the fact they’re dominating the place so much,” Terry Gilliam told Indiewire. “They’re taking all the money that should be available for a greater variety of films. Technically, they’re brilliant. I can’t fault them because the technical skills involved in making them are incredible.”

But, he added: “What I don’t like is that we all have to be superheroes [to] do anything worthwhile. That’s what makes me crazy. That’s what these movies are saying to young people.”

The Fisher King director bemoaned the way Marvel has squeezed out mid-range movies from the marketplace.

“There isn’t room or money for a greater range of films. You make a film for over $150 million or less than $10 [million]. Where’s all this other stuff? It doesn’t exist anymore.”

Gilliam singled out Black Panther for a particularly hard tongue lashing, claiming that the movie lacks authenticity in its portrayal of African cultures, giving young black viewers a false sense of hope and pride.

“I hated ‘Black Panther.’ It makes me crazy. It gives young black kids the idea that this is something to believe in. Bullshit. It’s utter bullshit,” he said.

“I think the people who made it have never been to Africa. They went and got some stylist for some African pattern fabrics and things. But I just I hated that movie, partly because the media were going on about the importance of bullshit.”

Gilliam also hinted that he thinks the overwhelming critical praise for Black Panther was the result of political correctness among movie reviewers. “It makes my blood boil,” he said.

Black Panther was widely praised in the media as the first major Hollywood release featuring a black superhero protagonist. But many journalists failed to mention the Blade movies, starring Wesley Snipes, the first of which was released in 1998.

Gilliam isn’t the first auteur filmmaker to publicly express his dislike of Marvel superhero movies. Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola have both questioned the cinematic merit of Marvel movies and have criticized the way the studio has come to dominate the exhibition space.

Gilliam also took a swing at the #MeToo movement in his conversation with Indiewire, saying that it has elevated victimhood to an exalted status.

“We’re in the era of the victim. We are all victims. It’s all somebody else, abusing us, taking advantage of us. We are powerless, except except that we go out and do other things,” he said.

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