Nobody wins when multi-millionaire directors feud… except maybe the box office.

With Killers of the Flower Moon in theaters, the ongoing, mostly good-natured feud between Martin Scorsese and Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) director Joe Russo has picked up new steam.

The two have been trading barbs since 2019 when Scorsese likened Marvel movies to theme parks in an Empire interview. “That’s not cinema,” the Oscar-winner said of superhero fare. In response, Russo told The Hollywood Reporter that the box office success of movies like Avengers: Endgame is all the proof he needs that audiences are connecting emotionally with his films. “Scorsese doesn’t own cinema,” his brother and directing partner Anthony added.

Four years later, Russo still seems to be smarting about Scorsese’s comment. Earlier this week, the Marvel director took a jab at Scorsese’s dog, Oscar, who has been featured in some cute TikToks Scorsese and his daughter have been posting in the leadup to Killers of the Flower Moon‘s release. Russo “stitched” a video of Scorsese and Oscar from his production company’s account, writing, “Aw look, he’s got a schnauzer! I love schnauzers. And his name is Oscar. That’s really cute.” The camera then shows Russo holding his dog, saying, “Okay, come on, Box Office.”

Martin Scorsese and Joe Russo.Michael Loccisano/Getty Images; Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

The joke comes after Flower Moon opened to a disappointing $23 million, despite critical acclaim. The three-and-a-half-hour epic, which reportedly cost $200 million to make, has now earned $86,035,063 at the global box office.

No matter how much Flower Moon makes, the two Hollywood juggernauts will undoubtedly continue to bicker about what constitutes good cinema. But they have a lot more in common than they care to admit — including some onscreen talent.

Here’s a list of the actors who have worked for both sides of the great cinema vs. superheroes debate.

MCU credits: Agent Nick Fury — Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013-2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Captain Marvel (2019), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), What If…? (2021), Secret Invasion (2023)Scorsese credits: Stacks Edwards — Goodfellas (1990)

One of the most prolific actors of our time, Jackson met a quick and brutal end as real-life criminal Stacks Edwards in his lone Scorsese film, Goodfellas.

Meanwhile, he’s gone on to become the thread that connects the multi-billion-dollar MCU franchise during his tenure as S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury, recently culminating in his own Disney+ spin-off series Secret Invasion.

Responding to Scorsese’s MCU-bashing in 2019, Jackson told Variety: “I mean, that’s like saying Bugs Bunny ain’t funny. Films are films. Everybody doesn’t like his stuff, either. Everybody’s got an opinion, so I mean, it’s okay. Ain’t going to stop nobody from making movies.”

Samuel L. Jackson stars as Stacks Edwards in ‘Goodfellas’ and Agent Nick Fury in the MCU.Warner Bros.; Zade Rosenthal/Marvel Studios

MCU credits: Norman Osborn/Green Goblin — Spider-Man (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004), Spider-Man 3 (2007), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Scorsese credits: Jesus — The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Roland Sweet — The Aviator (2004)

Technically, Dafoe‘s portrayal of the Green Goblin pre-dates the cinematic phenomena that has become the MCU, but he reprised the role for the franchise’s latest Spider-Man entry in 2021.

His first run as the Green Goblin in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy overlapped with his last time working with Scorsese in 2004’s The Aviator. Before that, he played OG nepo-baby Jesus Christ in 1988’s The Last Temptation.

Willem Dafoe plays Jesus in ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ and Norman Osborn/Green Goblin in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home.’Universal Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images; Sony Pictures

MCU credits: Hela — Thor: Ragnarok (2017)Scorsese credits: Katharine Hepburn — The Aviator (2004)

Surprisingly, only five actors have won an Oscar for their performance in a Scorsese movie. The last one to take home a trophy was Blanchett for 2004’s The Aviator. Opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the Howard Hughes biopic, Blanchett shined as iconic Hollywood starlet Katharine Hepburn, winning Best Supporting Actress.

Years later, after winning her second Oscar (for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine), Blanchett joined the MCU for Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok, which gave the franchise a much-needed comedic shakeup. Blanchett starred as the big bad Hela, who happens to be both the goddess of death and Thor’s sister (and you thought Loki was a troublemaking sibling!).

Blanchett has not weighed on Scorsese’s MCU takes, but the iconic filmmaker did say that the “clouds lifted” on the future of cinema when he watched Blanchett’s Tár, and that is an opinion that we can all get behind! — Derek Lawrence

Cate Blanchett plays Katharine Hepburn in ‘The Aviator’ and Hela in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.Miramax; Marvel Studios

MCU credits: Yon-Rogg — Captain Marvel (2019)Scorsese credits: Errol Flynn — The Aviator (2004), Hugo’s Father — Hugo (2011)

Law is not yet on the Robert De Niro or Leonardo DiCaprio level, but he has starred in two Scorsese films, albeit in small roles. He first popped up as Golden Age of Hollywood star Errol Flynn in the Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator, only to then reunite with Scorsese for 2011’s Hugo, in which he plays Mr. Cabret, the late father of the young main character.

The actor eventually made the jump to the MCU for 2019’s Captain Marvel, playing Yon-Rogg, the Starforce leader and mentor to Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), who later becomes her enemy. Internet rumors suggest that Law could be returning for the upcoming sequel The Marvels. — Derek Lawrence

Jude Law plays Errol Flynn in ‘The Aviator’ and Yon-Rogg in ‘Captain Marvel.’Miramax; Marvel Studios

MCU credits: Happy Hogan — Iron Man 2* (2010), Iron Man 3* (2013), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), What If…? (2021).Scorsese credits: Manny Riskin — The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)*also directed

Despite starring in and even directing a few MCU movies himself, Favreau has shown nothing but respect for Scorsese and fellow directorial legend Francis Ford Coppola, who called Marvel movies “despicable.”

“These two guys are my heroes, and they’ve earned the right to express their opinions,” he told CNBC. “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if they didn’t carve the way. They’ve served as a source of inspiration; you can go all the way back to Swingers, where I was referencing Marty, and I’ve worked with him. For me, they can express whatever opinion they’d like.”

Jon Favreau in ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home.’Paramount Pictures; Sony Pictures

MCU credits: Trevor Slattery/The Mandarin — Iron Man 3 (2013), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Scorsese credits: Dr. Crawley — Shutter Island (2010), Georges Méliès — Hugo (2011)

Sir Ben Kingsley, who won the Oscar in 1983 for his portrayal of Mohandas K. Gandhi, got to tweak the notion of a dedicated thespian with his MCU character “The Mandarin” in Iron Man 3. Shane Black’s clever script sets him up as a malevolent force, only to pull the rug out when we realize he’s just a dopey actor named Trevor Slattery playing a part. He reprised the performance, taking it one step sillier, in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

But two years before he became part of the MCU, he starred in Scorsese’s ode to film history and preservation, Hugo. As with the Iron Man switcheroo, we don’t realize at first that his character is actually the early cinema magician Georges Méliès. Prior to that, he co-starred in Shutter Island as the lead shrink at an eerie psychiatric facility.

Kingsley complimented the brain trust at the MCU, saying they have “enormous taste as creative artists. There’s nothing lazy or gratuitous about their work. They are at the top of their game, and they’re great company to keep.” Earlier, he praised Scorsese, saying, “he sees every single gesture, nuance, shift in emphasis that you offer him on every take.” — Jordan Hoffman

Ben Kingsley in ‘Shutter Island’ and ‘Iron Man 3.’Paramount Pictures; Zade Rosenthal/Marvel Studios

MCU credits: Janet van Dyne/Wasp — Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Scorsese credits: Ellen Olenska — The Age of Innocence (1993)

Based on the 1920 Edith Wharton novel, Pfeiffer acted her bodice-ripping ass off in Scorsese’s adaptation of The Age of Innocence, featuring a love triangle between her, Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder.

In the MCU, her character Janet van Dyne (a.k.a. Wasp) gets a second chance at love with her husband Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) after decades trapped in the Quantum Realm.

Michelle Pfeiffer stars as Ellen Olenska in ‘The Age of Innocence’ and Janet van Dyne/Wasp in ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp.’Columbia Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images; Jay Maidment/Marvel Studios

MCU credits: Bruce Banner/The Hulk — The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Captain Marvel (2019), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), What If…? (2021), She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022)Scorsese credits: Chuck Aule — Shutter Island (2010)

Ruffalo was always a fan of Scorsese, so much so that he wrote the auteur a letter for a chance at getting cast in 2010’s Shutter Island.

“I’ve been a big fan of his, pretty much through 20 years of acting, and it’s always been a dream of mine,” he said in 2010. “So I wrote a letter to him saying how much I wanted to work with him, and it worked.”

In the years since his time working with Scorsese, Ruffalo has become synonymous with the big green hunk himself. He’s also offered one of the most insightful rebuttals to Scorsese’s criticism of Marvel.

“I would invite him to come and sit in one of those movies with an audience because it does move them,” he told BBC in 2019. “I’ve not been in a movie where I’ve seen more people crying at the end of the movie, and screaming, and yelling, and being affected as I have in those.”

Ruffalo continued, “If you’re working in the milieu of ‘I’m going to try and make a movie that has economic success,’ which [Scorsese] does too, by the way, then how can you complain about that system when you’re not on top of it anymore? I would love to see Marty create a national film endowment — and he could do this — that lets young, new talent come in that isn’t just driven by the marketplace but driven by precepts of art. That would be amazing. That’s really the crux of this conversation.”

Mark Ruffalo in ‘Shutter Island’ and ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.’Paramount Pictures; Jay Maidment/Marvel Studios

MCU credits: Actor Loki — Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Scorsese credits: Colin — The Departed (2006)

Damon only made one doomed appearance in Scorsese’s filmography, but the studio wanted either Damon or DiCaprio’s character to stay alive for a potential franchise of their own. Scorsese wasn’t having it.

Considering his friendship with Thor star Chris Hemsworth, it’s no surprise that Damon has delivered a couple of campy cameos alongside his onscreen hero character. Chris’ actual brother, Luke Hemsworth, also appeared as the actor playing Thor in a stage play with Damon’s Loki.

Matt Damon plays Colin in ‘The Departed’ and Actor Loki in ‘Thor: Ragnarok.’Warner Bros.; Marvel Studios

MCU credits: Uncle Ben — The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)Scorsese credits: Captain Queenan — The Departed (2006)

With The Amazing Spider-Man now officially part of the MCU thanks to some multiversal shenanigans in Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), Martin Sheen can now count himself a member of this prestigious list. The actor appeared in The Departed as Captain Queenan, who you might remember from his fateful swan dive off a building. In Spider-Man, he became the latest actor of a certain age to take on Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, who also meets an untimely end — but not before delivering some final wisdom about power and responsibility (this time with a twist!).

Martin Sheen in ‘The Departed’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man.’Warner Bros. Pictures; Jaimie Trueblood/Columbia Pictures Entertainment

While all three of these ladies have made appearances in Scorsese’s work, each has kept fans on the edges of their seats for their MCU debuts.

Earlier this year, Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) reportedly turned down the role of Sue Storm/Invisible Woman in the MCU’s upcoming Fantastic Four reboot.

Although Underworld is based on a non-Marvel graphic novel, Beckinsale (The Aviator) expressed interest in reprising her role as Selene for a potential crossover film with Marvel’s Blade.

In 2016, Stone (Casino) teased that she was “doing a wee part in a Marvel movie,” although that onscreen appearance has yet to surface.

And although Michelle Williams (Shutter Island) has already portrayed Anne Weying (a.k.a. She-Venom) in 2018’s Venom and the 2021 sequel Let There Be Carnage, those Marvel movies came from Sony and are therefore not part of the MCU. However, much like Defoe, she has some crossover potential after Tom Hardy‘s Eddie Brock/Venom made a credits cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

 Not only did these actors catch Martin Scorsese’s cinematic eye, but they were also deemed worthy of Marvel’s big box office bucks  Read More