Marvel Studios films have come under fire from critically-acclaimed directors in recent days. Martin Scorsese said that the films are "not cinema" and Francis Ford Coppola went further, calling the films "despicable." Bog Iger, the CEO of Marvel Studios parent company Disney, has now spoken out about those criticisms. “I reserve the word ‘despicable’ for someone who committed mass murder,” Iger said while speaking at the Wall Street Journal Tech Live conference in Laguna Beach, California. “These are movies. They want to bitch about movies, it’s certainly their right." He went on to say that he'd be willing to hold films by Marvel filmmakers like Taika Waititi and Ryan Coogler up against the films of Scorsese or Coppola.
Scorsese sparked this discussion with comments about the Marvel's success during an interview. “I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” he said. “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.”
Scorsese doubled down on those comments during an event tied to the release of his latest film, The Irishman. "The value of a film that’s like a theme park film, for example, the Marvel type pictures where the theaters become amusement parks, that’s a different experience,” he said. “As I was saying earlier, it's not cinema, it’s something else. Whether you go for that or not, it is something else and we shouldn’t be invaded by it. And so that’s a big issue, and we need the theater owners to step up for that to allow theaters to show films that are narrative films.”
Coppola backed Scorsese, telling journalists in Lyon, France that "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."
What do you think of Iger's response to the comments made by Scorsese and Coppola? Let us know in the comments section.
Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in spring 2021, Loki in spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If? In summer 2021, Hawkeye in fall 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk are also in the works for Disney+.
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