John Woo Prefers ‘Real Cinema’ Over Superheros, but ‘There Aren’t Many Movies Like That Lately’

John Woo may be one of the masters of action movies, but even he cannot get behind the special effects of the MCU.

The “Face/Off” director told The New Yorker that he refuses to watch superhero movies, and instead opts for “real” films by directors like Martin Scorsese.

More from IndieWire

“I’ve never liked watching movies with big special effects, or anything based on comic books,” Woo said. “I prefer Martin Scorsese’s movies, that kind of cinema. I can’t wait to watch ‘Killers of the Flower Moon.’ I like old-fashioned movies, you know? Real cinema. There aren’t many movies like that lately.”

The “Silent Night” filmmaker added that his film “Bullet in the Head” was “an homage to Martin Scorsese, since I was greatly influenced by his film ‘Mean Streets.'”

Woo’s action movie “Silent Night” marks his first U.S. film in 20 years since critically-panned “Paycheck.” The dialogue-free film is produced by “John Wick” financiers Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee for Thunder Road.

“There were a lot of good scripts that I wanted to shoot, but they never came to me,” Woo said of his long-awaited return to Hollywood after working in China for the past two decades. “Like a drama about a young kid from a bad neighborhood. Hollywood producers wouldn’t suggest me for that because they felt I wasn’t American, so I wouldn’t understand their life style. Scripts for historical dramas never came to me, either, because I’m Chinese. I’m a foreigner, so they couldn’t believe that I could make an American historical film. All I could do, in those people’s minds, was make action movies. I can make a lot of kinds of movies, but it’s hard to make people believe that.”

He added, “I was so excited when I got the script for ‘Silent Night.’ There’s no dialogue in the entire movie! I thought this would be very good for me because it lets me use my gifts for telling a story visually. I’m always on the lookout for good stories. It just so happened that this is a Hollywood production. I also never felt like I was coming back to Hollywood, since, to me, I never left Hollywood. I simply made a few movies in China over the past two decades. Coming back to Hollywood actually feels like coming home.”

As for Woo’s next project, the filmmaker is looking to stay stateside: “It’s still hard to find financing for the kinds of movies that I want to make, like a musical or a Western, which aren’t that popular anymore. Maybe my next film will be a Western,” he said.

Best of IndieWire

Sign up for Indiewire's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.