Ray Winstone has become the latest big name to criticise the Marvel Cinematic Universe, joining the likes of Francis Ford Coppola, Ken Loach and Martin Scorsese, who famously told Empire magazine that Marvel movies are "not cinema."


Wintone appeared in Marvel's Black Widow, which came out in 2021 and which starred Scarlett Johansson as the titular character.

In this week's issue of Radio Times magazine, Winstone opened up about his experience playing the film's villain, Russian general Dreykov.

"It was fine until you have to do the reshoots," he said. "Then you find out that a few producers have come down, and your performance is too much, it’s too strong… That’s the way Marvel works. It can be soul-destroying because you feel like you’re doing great work."

The actor revealed he was ready to give up on the project altogether: "I actually said, 'You ought to recast it because that was it for me.' And you end up doing it again because you’re contracted to do it. Otherwise you end up in court. It’s like being kicked in the balls."

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Ray Winstone in The Gentlemen wearing a chequered suit with an arm outstretched
Ray Winstone in The Gentlemen. Christopher Rafael/Netflix

Winstone also opened up about his two upcoming Netflix projects, the Millie Bobby Brown-starring Damsel and the Guy Ritchie-directed The Gentlemen.

He plays Brown's father in the former, and a Cockney drug lord in the latter.

"Anyone can talk a good film, but you get a little smell sometimes if someone’s a bit more serious than others," he said of Damsel and its director, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.

Winstone also had praise for Ritchie, who he's working with for the first time on the Netflix spin-off of his 2019 film.

"He’s pretty clear what he wants. Then he changes his mind! He does that all the time, by all accounts. But as long as you’re up to speed and you know what you’re doing, then it’s easy to change. If you ain’t done your homework, then you’re f***ed. Because he’s a very clever boy," he said.

Read the full interview in this week's issue of Radio Times magazine.

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