Marvel may be at the top of the food chain in terms of superhero cinema, but for one former star, they’re just cattle. Stephen Dorff, who played villain Deacon Frost in 1998’s Blade, has criticized the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in particular throwing shade at the upcoming Black Widow for looking “like a bad video game.”
Speaking with the UK’s Independent about his new film, Embattled, Dorff was asked about what roles he looks for in modern Hollywood. The actor took that as a prompt to bash the company that elevated his career by making him the star of one of the first successful post-Batman comic book adaptations.
“I still hunt out the good shit because I don’t want to be in Black Widow,” said Dorff, continuing,
“It looks like garbage to me. It looks like a bad video game. I’m embarrassed for those people. I’m embarrassed for Scarlett! I’m sure she got paid five, seven million bucks, but I’m embarrassed for her. I don’t want to be in those movies. I really don’t. I’ll find that kid director that’s gonna be the next [Stanley] Kubrick and I’ll act for him instead.”
Ironically, just a year ago, he only had nice things to say about the MCU’s forthcoming Blade reboot starring his True Detective co-star, Mahershala Ali. “I think he’ll do a great job with Blade and reinventing the franchise,” he told ET at the time. “It probably should’ve been done a while ago, but I think it’s good for him. But I mean, I love the guy. I’m sure he’ll do it justice. To have such a great actor in the part of Blade for this new generation, it’ll be great.”
At the time, Dorff was still holding out hopes for a solo movie for his Blade baddie Frost in the vein of Joker. Something tells us Kevin Feige won’t be interested in taking any meetings with him after these latest comments.
Which might be just fine by Dorff. In the Independent interview, he went on to say that acting in 2021 is like “a big game show.” He criticized the most recent Oscars as “the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen,” adding, “You have actors that don’t have a clue what they’re doing. You have filmmakers that don’t have a clue what they’re doing. We’re all in these little boxes on these streamers. TV, film — it’s all one big clusterfuck of content now.”
To be fair, he’s not the first to criticize the Marvel blueprint. Martin Scorsese caused something of a dustup in 2019 when he said Marvel’s movies “aren’t cinema,” something with which fellow icon Francis Ford Coppola agreed.