John Woo prefers ‘real cinema’ over superheroes, but ‘not many such films have been made recently’

John Woo may be one of the masters of action films, but even he can’t lag behind the special effects of the MCU.

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

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“I’ve never liked watching movies with big special effects or based on comic books,” Wu said. “I love Martin Scorsese films, that kind of cinema. I can’t wait to see ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’. I love old school movies, you know? Real cinema. There have not been many such films recently.”

The “Silent Night” filmmaker said his film “Bullet in the Head” was “a tribute to Martin Scorsese, because I was so influenced by his movie ‘Mean Streets.'”

Wu’s action film “Silent Night” is his first American film in 20 years after the critically panned “Paycheck.” The dialogue-free film is produced by “John Wick” financier Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee for Thunder Road.

“There were a lot of good scripts I wanted to shoot, but they never came my way,” Wu 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 it because they thought I wasn’t American, so I wouldn’t understand their lifestyle. Scripts for historical dramas never came to me because I am Chinese. I’m a foreigner, so they didn’t believe I could make an American historical film. In those people’s minds I could only make action films. “I can make many types of films, but it is difficult to make people believe in it.”

He further said, “When I got the script of ‘Silent Night’ I was very excited. There is no dialogue in the entire movie! I thought this would be great for me because it lets me use my gifts to tell a story visually. I’m always looking for good stories. It just so happens that this is a Hollywood production. I never felt like I was coming back to Hollywood, because for me, I never left Hollywood. I made some films in China in the last two decades. Coming back to Hollywood really feels like coming home.”

As for Wu’s next project, the filmmaker wants to stay stateside: “It’s still hard to find financing for the kind of movies I want to make, like musicals or westerns, which are not as popular anymore. Maybe my next film will be a western,” he said.

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