Terry Gilliam Trashes ‘Black Panther': ‘It’s Utter Bulls—‘

Filmmaker also echoed larger criticisms made by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola about superhero films

Terry Gilliam doesn’t like “Black Panther.” He really, really doesn’t like “Black Panther.”

In an interview with IndieWire about his long-awaited film “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” Gilliam criticized the dominance of Marvel Studios in Hollywood, echoing comments made by fellow filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola about fears that they are creating a monoculture of blockbusters. But specifically, he targeted Ryan Coogler’s Oscar-winning, Best Picture nominated film “Black Panther” for extra ire.

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

Gilliam, however, is incorrect about the “never been to Africa” part. Coogler traveled with several key members of his team to Africa to do research and aerial shots for the film. Production designer Hannah Beachler and costume designer Ruth Carter recounted in an interviews with TheWrap how Afrofuturist architecture from the continent and from the attire of tribes like the Masai were core influences when building the world of Wakanda. Both women won Oscars for their efforts.

Like Scorsese and Coppola — the latter of whom called Marvel films “despicable” — Gilliam feels like the series is accelerating an arms race in Hollywood that prioritizes tentpole blockbusters and low-risk/high-reward microbudget horror films to the detriment of everything else.

“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,” he said. “I make films where I’m trying to make people think. I mean, I try to entertain them enough that they don’t fall asleep on me, and they’re there to make you think and look at the world in a different way, hopefully, and consider possibilities. Those films don’t do that.”

He went on: “Where’s the gravity, where’s real gravity? Because [in superhero movies,] everything is possible. It’s the limitations that make life interesting. Okay, so your suit burns up. So you get another suit because you’re Tony Stark. It’s not enough. They dominate so much.”

If you’re in the anti-Marvel boat with Gilliam, you can check out “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” which is streaming on Crackle and available to rent digitally on Amazon. If not, you can always check out “Black Panther” on Netflix… and the rest of the MCU on Disney+.

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