James Cameron is the latest director to take aim at superhero movies, slamming the way Marvel and DC blockbusters are made.

The 'Avatar' helmer has joined Martin Scorsese, Sir Ridley Scott, Francis Ford Coppola, and more in voicing their criticism of the genre, with Cameron taking issue with the characters all acting like they are college-age.

He told The New York Times: “When I look at these big, spectacular films — I’m looking at you, Marvel and DC — it doesn’t matter how old the characters are, they all act like they’re in college.

“They have relationships, but they really don’t. They never hang up their spurs because of their kids. The things that really ground us and give us power, love, and a purpose? Those characters don’t experience it, and I think that’s not the way to make movies.”

Scorsese caused a stir a couple of years ago when he said Marvel movies are "not cinema" and likened them to theme park rides.

However, he later clarified that his comments were directed at all superhero films, as opposed to just Marvel.

He said: "I said superhero films, I never - I don't even know Marvel. I remember Marvel was a comic book."

The 79-year-old director - whose filmography includes Mafia dramas 'The Irishman', 'Casino' and 'Goodfellas' and 'The Wolf of Wall Street' and 'Taxi Driver' - also clarified his "theme park" comment, suggesting that studios have wanted films to become as important as Disneyland in American culture.

He explained: "I remember when Disneyland was built, I'm that ancient. One of the aspirations of the studios was to become as important in a sense to American culture as Disneyland."

'The Godfather' director Coppola backed Scorsese's admission that superhero films are not real cinema and called them "despicable".

James Gunn - who is best known for helming Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' franchise - responded: "When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he's right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration.

"I don't know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again.

"Martin was kind when he said it's not cinema. He didn't say it's despicable, which I just say it is."

He went on to declare superhero films the western and gangster movies of today, whilst he admitted it's fine that some "geniuses" don't "appreciate" the movies.