Disney boss Bob Iger has hit back at Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola over their criticism of Marvel movies.
Iger, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, which owns Marvel Studios, made an appearance at The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference in California on Tuesday night, and during an interview, was asked what he thought of Scorsese’s view that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) flicks are “not cinema”, and Coppola’s opinion that such blockbusters are “despicable”.
“Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese are people I hold in the highest regard in terms of the films they’ve made, the films I’ve liked, the films we’ve all watched,” he stated, according to reporters at Fast Company. “But when Francis uses the words ‘those films are despicable,’ I’d reserve the word ‘despicable’ for someone who had committed mass murder.
“I don’t get what they’re criticising us for when we’re making films that people are obviously enjoying going to and they’re doing so by the millions.”
Iger then insisted that Marvel films actually support the wider movie industry because they draw in viewers and allow cinema executives to show more independent films. He also compared Ryan Coogler’s box office smash, Black Panther, to Scorsese and Coppola’s movies.
“Are you telling me that Ryan Coogler making Black Panther is doing something that somehow or another is less than anything Marty Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola have ever done on any one of their movies? Come on,” the 68-year-old asked.
Following Scorsese and Coppola’s criticism, the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, Robert Downey, Jr., Natalie Portman, and Sebastian Stan have all defended the MCU. However, Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch expressed support for both sides of the argument during a chat on SiriusXM’s The Jenny McCarthy Show on Tuesday.
“I know there’s been a lot of debate recently with some very fine filmmakers coming to the fore saying these film franchises are taking over everything,” he explained. “But, lucky us actors who get to do both kinds of variety, at either polarity (in terms) of budgeting.
“I agree, we don’t want one king to rule it all and have a monopoly and all that, and it’s hopefully not the case and we should really look into continuing to support auteur filmmakers at every level.”
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