These past few weeks have seen some of the greatest directors of the century criticizing Marvel movies and superhero films as a whole for not being real cinema. And then there are those like James Gunn and Kevin Smith, who defend Marvel by saying that they are cinema. So as the two sides plead their cases, the director who helped launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe is sharing his thoughts.
Jon Favreau, who directed Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and appeared in Iron Man 3, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far From Home, took some time off during The Mandalorian press circuit to talk about the comments made by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, and gave a rather composed response to their criticism of Marvel Studios films. More on what he said, below.
Speaking to CNBC (via Variety), Favreau said:
“These two guys are my heroes and they’ve earned the right to express their opinions. 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.”
These comments come after Scorsese criticized how Marvel Studios’ films were not “cinema,” during an interview with Empire. Scorsese said:
“I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema. Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
The Irishman director then doubled-down by adding:
“It’s not my kind of thing; it simply is not. It’s creating another kind of audience that thinks cinema is that. We shouldn’t be invaded by it. We need cinemas to step up and show films that are narrative films.”
Coppola then entered the ring by adding his own criticism of the superhero genre by saying:
“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.”
Coppola then added:
“Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”
Let’s face it, you either like Marvel films or you don’t. However, all that matters is if you are entertained and/or if the film means something to you on a personal level. Take Black Panther, for instance. Not only was it a highly entertaining superhero film, it addressed themes of race and identity while also speaking to a minority. Captain Marvel did the same thing as it was Marvel Studios’ first female superhero standalone. And I suspect it will be the same for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings when that comes out.
I, for one, share Favreau’s sentiments, that Scorsese and Coppola have earned the right to speak their minds because they have paved the way for the filmmakers of today. Whether or not you agree with them is your choice. But in the end, everyone has an opinion, and we can all agree to disagree.
[Source: CNBC via Variety]