Taika Waititi ‘didn’t have to do much’ to convince Natalie Portman to return to Thor

Taika Waititi “didn’t have to do much” to convince Natalie Portman to return for the fourth Thor movie.Back in July, it was announced that the Oscar-winning actress was reprising her role as Dr. Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder, which will be co-w…

Taika Waititi “didn’t have to do much” to convince Natalie Portman to return for the fourth Thor movie.

Back in July, it was announced that the Oscar-winning actress was reprising her role as Dr. Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder, which will be co-written and directed by the New Zealand filmmaker.

It was later confirmed that Portman would become The Mighty Thor in the upcoming instalment of the hugely successful Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, which is led by Chris Hemsworth, who plays the eponymous God of Thunder.

And Waititi explained that he had an easy job persuading the 38-year-old to come back to Thor, after her character was notably missing from 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok.

“I mean, I didn’t have to do much. And, I think for her it was about making the character interesting. And I think especially when you’re playing ‘an Earthling who’s just into science’ in one of these big movies, it kind of gets a bit sort of, you know…” he told Uproxx. “After doing that for two movies, you want to do something different.”

Waititi also suggested that Portman wanted to revisit her character in Thor: Love and Thunder as she finally gets to wield the powerful hammer Mjolnir.

“I think for her, the thing that might’ve been attractive about this is being able to step it up and be a superhero. And I’d rather her do that than play a scientist. And it’s also from the comics as well. So it’s not something we made up,” he added.

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Bob Iger fires back at criticism of Marvel movies

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 Th…

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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Jon Favreau addresses criticism of Marvel movies

Iron Man director Jon Favreau isn’t offended by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola’s scathing stance on Marvel films, insisting the directors have “earned the right to express their opinions”.Scorsese’s recent comment that superhero blockbusters …

Iron Man director Jon Favreau isn’t offended by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola’s scathing stance on Marvel films, insisting the directors have “earned the right to express their opinions”.

Scorsese’s recent comment that superhero blockbusters are “not cinema” has sparked a fierce debate in filmmaking circles, with Coppola later weighing in and calling them “despicable”.

Now, Favreau, who directed Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and starred as Happy Hogan in six different Marvel films, has weighed in on the controversy.

“These two guys are my heroes, and they have earned the right to express their opinions. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if they didn’t carve the way,” he said in an interview with CNBC. “They served as a source of inspiration, you can go all the way back to (1996 film) Swingers… They can express whatever opinion they like.”

In response to Scorsese and Coppola’s criticism, a host of Marvel alumni have also defended the movies, including stars like Robert Downey, Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman, and Sebastian Stan.

Elsewhere in the chat, Favreau spoke about how he avoids “superhero fatigue”, as he is not only involved in Marvel movies but is also the executive producer of upcoming Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.

“There’s a lot of forces at work here, as a filmmaker I see it from a different perspective, which is now for big movies with big budgets to help justify the theatregoing experience – going to a movie theatre and paying for that experience – you’re delivering a much different product than you had been, even when I began 20 years ago,” the 53-year-old shared. “You’re selling to a global market, these are stories that the budget demands that they perform on a global scale.

“Two-thirds of most box office returns are coming from Non-North American markets, so it changes the calculus that studios have to consider when they’re greenlighting a film. But on the flip side, you have this fluidity between platforms and so there are films that would have been studios releases that are now being done for streaming services. If you look at it from the perspective of what is available to the consumer, there is a much richer assortment and selection.”

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Ken Loach joins filmmakers slamming Marvel movies

Veteran British director Ken Loach has joined Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola in slamming Marvel movies.Scorsese’s comment that superhero blockbusters are “not cinema” has sparked a fierce debate in filmmaking circles over their merits, with a…

Veteran British director Ken Loach has joined Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola in slamming Marvel movies.

Scorsese’s comment that superhero blockbusters are “not cinema” has sparked a fierce debate in filmmaking circles over their merits, with a host of Marvel alumni defending the movies, and Coppola calling them “despicable”.

Now, the two-time winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or prize has told British broadcaster Sky News he finds the Marvel superhero movies “boring” and “nothing to do with the art of cinema”.

The director, whose films Kes, and I, Daniel Blake focus on working-class lives, and once directed an advert for McDonald’s, compared Marvel films to fast food and said they were all about profit rather than art.

“They’re made as commodities like hamburgers, and it’s not about communicating and it’s not about sharing our imagination,” he raged. “It’s about making a commodity which will make a profit for a big corporation – they’re a cynical exercise.

“They’re market exercise and it has nothing to do with the art of cinema. William Blake said, ‘When money is discussed – art is impossible.'”

The 83-year-old’s latest movie Sorry We Missed You deals with the struggles of life in Britain’s low wage economy.

Explaining why he thinks more naturalistic cinema is important, he added: “It can laugh with us, it can cry with us, it can learn about our deepest feelings and what it is to be human – you find that in the everyday.”

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 Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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James Gunn defends Marvel movies following Francis Ford Coppola’s criticism

James Gunn has responded to Francis Ford Coppola describing Marvel movies as “despicable”.Martin Scorsese recently hit headlines for labelling the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) flicks “not cinema”, and on Saturday, Coppola supported his fellow moviem…

James Gunn has responded to Francis Ford Coppola describing Marvel movies as “despicable”.

Martin Scorsese recently hit headlines for labelling the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) flicks “not cinema”, and on Saturday, Coppola supported his fellow moviemaker after accepting his Lumiere Award in France by insisting filmgoers learn nothing from Marvel boss Kevin Feige’s blockbusters and commented, “Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”

Guardians of the Galaxy director Gunn took to Instagram on Sunday to defend Marvel, and while he didn’t call out The Godfather filmmaker explicitly, did repeat his use of the word “despicable” in his argument.

“Many of our grandfathers thought all gangster movies were the same, often calling them ‘despicable’. Some of our great grandfathers thought the same of westerns, and believed the films of John Ford, Sam Peckinpah, and Sergio Leone were all exactly the same. I remember a great uncle to whom I was raving about Star Wars. He responded by saying, ‘I saw that when it was called 2001, and, boy, was it boring!'” the 53-year-old wrote.

“Superheroes are simply today’s gangsters/cowboys/outer space adventurers. Some superhero films are awful, some are beautiful. Like westerns and gangster movies (and before that, just MOVIES), not everyone will be able to appreciate them, even some geniuses. And that’s okay.”

Gunn previously posted his take on Scorsese’s view on his Twitter page, claiming he was disappointed to hear the Oscar-winning director “judging” his films.

“Martin Scorsese is one of my five favourite living filmmakers. I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way,” he stated.

Other Marvel movie stars to defend the studio include Thor: Love and Thunder star Natalie Portman and Captain America: Civil War actor Sebastian Stan.

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Natalie Portman & Sebastian Stan address Francis Ford Coppola’s criticism of Marvel movies

Marvel movie stars Natalie Portman and Sebastian Stan have responded after director Francis Ford Coppola called the superhero films “despicable”.Just weeks after fellow filmmaker Martin Scorsese labelled films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) “no…

Marvel movie stars Natalie Portman and Sebastian Stan have responded after director Francis Ford Coppola called the superhero films “despicable”.

Just weeks after fellow filmmaker Martin Scorsese labelled films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) “not cinema”, The Godfather director defended his peer as he added: “Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”

Speaking to journalists in France as he was awarded the Prix Lumiere for his contribution to cinema, Coppola added that he thinks moviegoers need to learn something from what they see on screen.

“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,” he explained.

Portman addressed the remark as she attended the L.A. Dance Project gala in Los Angeles on Saturday night, telling Variety: “I think there’s room for all types of cinema. There’s not one way to make art.”

The actress played Jane Foster in 2011’s Thor and sequel The Dark World in 2013, and will be starring opposite Chris Hemsworth once again in the upcoming Thor: Love And Thunder.

Meanwhile, Stan, who is most famous for playing James ‘Bucky’ Barnes/Winter Soldier in the films, also hit back at Coppola’s comments as he took part in a panel discussion during the 2019 Fandemic Tour on Sunday in Houston, Texas.

“He’s (Coppola) one of my heroes and I was listening to him and meanwhile, I just spent the day with all of you,” he said. “People have been going up to me like, ‘Thank you so much for this character,’ ‘This movie helped me out so much,’ ‘This movie inspired me. Now I feel better. Now I feel less alone,’ so how can you say these movies are not helping people?”

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Noah Hawley originally turned down directing Lucy in the Sky

Noah Hawley originally turned down directing Lucy in the Sky because he thought the real-life inspiration for the story wasn’t interesting enough.The film follows the story of astronaut Lucy Cola, played by Oscar winner Natalie Portman, who begins to…

Noah Hawley originally turned down directing Lucy in the Sky because he thought the real-life inspiration for the story wasn’t interesting enough.

The film follows the story of astronaut Lucy Cola, played by Oscar winner Natalie Portman, who begins to lose touch with reality and her sanity as she embarks on a devastating affair with a fellow officer, portrayed by Jon Hamm, after she returns to Earth following a long trip into space.

It was based on the real-life story of NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, who drove across the U.S. to try and kidnap Cathleen Shipman, the new girlfriend of her lover, William Oefelein, back in 2007.

However, when it was pitched to Hawley, he wasn’t interested in Nowak’s story, so ultimately passed on the project, but it was producer Reese Witherspoon that convinced him to come back onboard.

“I wasn’t terribly interested in a literal telling of the story, and so it kind of fell off my radar,” he told Deadline. “Then Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea brought in another writer, John-Henry Butterworth who did a draft that began to introduce the magic realism and the more psychological elements and it became less of a literal telling and more of a fictional examination of the story of an astronaut who goes to space and has this explosive experience and a very hard time kind of re-fitting back into her life when she comes home.”

Hawley is full of praise for his leading lady, and said the mother-of-two was “remarkable” playing tormented astronaut Lucy Cola.

“I mean, Natalie’s performance of course is the real headline of this movie and the transformation that she goes through and the sort of bravado and assuredness and the charm and the swagger that she carries through this film and then the kind of degradation of her character as she begins to degrade when she loses control,” Hawley gushed. “It really is such a remarkable performance that Natalie gave.”

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Natalie Portman urges actresses to ‘share salary details’ in campaign for equal pay

Natalie Portman is keen for her fellow actresses to share details about their salaries to help each other negotiate pay.The Oscar-winning actress is championing equal pay in Hollywood, and has called on her peers to be more open when it comes to the “t…

Natalie Portman is keen for her fellow actresses to share details about their salaries to help each other negotiate pay.

The Oscar-winning actress is championing equal pay in Hollywood, and has called on her peers to be more open when it comes to the “taboo” surrounding their pay cheques.

“If we don’t talk to each other, we can’t share, we can’t get information, we can’t get angry and organise together,” Natalie told Elle magazine. “It’s actually really important to talk.”

Explaining the reasoning behind the initiative, the Lucy in the Sky star continued: “It’s actually a real way that we can help each other, to be like: ‘Hey, this is what I get paid. This is how I negotiated this.'”

Her comments come after the 38-year-old recently opened up about the adversity women face in society, explaining to Build Series how they’re often scrutinised more than their male counterparts, adding: “The same qualities that might be celebrated in one might be put down in another gender.”

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Natalie Portman feels ‘so lucky’ to work with Reese Witherspoon on Lucy in the Sky

Natalie Portman felt “so lucky” to work with Reese Witherspoon on her new movie Lucy in the Sky.The film, directed by Noah Hawley, follows the story of astronaut Lucy Cola, who begins to lose touch with reality and her sanity as she embarks on a devast…

Natalie Portman felt “so lucky” to work with Reese Witherspoon on her new movie Lucy in the Sky.

The film, directed by Noah Hawley, follows the story of astronaut Lucy Cola, who begins to lose touch with reality and her sanity as she embarks on a devastating affair with a fellow officer after she returns to Earth following a long trip into space.

It was loosely based on the real-life activities of astronaut Lisa Nowak, who drove across the U.S. to try and kidnap the new girlfriend of her lover, William Oefelein.

Portman opened up about how she felt working with fellow Oscar winner Witherspoon, who produced and kickstarted the project.

“Reese was very involved, she helped develop the script so I am very grateful to her for helping create this character and working on details of it with Noah during the development… it was so lucky,” she told Entertainment Tonight.

Witherspoon was originally set to star in the movie, alongside Jon Hamm and Dan Stevens, but eventually decided to step back and handed the leading lady reigns over the Portman instead.

“She’s such a powerhouse,” the Black Swan star gushed. “She’s producing and making work for a lot of us, so I’m very grateful and it was really lucky to get to have a friend to get to call up and be like, ‘What do you think about this? What’s your take on this? Why did you choose this?’ It was very lucky to have her insight.”

Lucy in the Sky is released in cinemas on 4 October.

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Natalie Portman addresses Lucy in the Sky diaper controversy

Natalie Portman has been left bemused after Lucy in the Sky viewers demanded to know why she doesn’t wear a diaper in the film.The Oscar-winning actress stars in the film as Lucy Cola, an “astronaut who returns to Earth and starts to lose touch with re…

Natalie Portman has been left bemused after Lucy in the Sky viewers demanded to know why she doesn’t wear a diaper in the film.

The Oscar-winning actress stars in the film as Lucy Cola, an “astronaut who returns to Earth and starts to lose touch with reality in a world that now seems too small”.

One particular part of the tale saw Lucy wearing a diaper, which was omitted in the film and has led to backlash from some people – but Natalie admitted during an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, airing on Friday, that she’s unsure why there has been such a strong reaction.

“The original story was that this woman drove across country to confront, or kidnap, depending on the version, her boyfriend and his new girlfriend,” Natalie explained. “And she wore a diaper so that she didn’t have to stop on the way. And we didn’t do that in the movie and everyone’s like, ‘Where’s the diaper?!’ Everyone is really upset to not see me in a diaper. I don’t know what that’s about?!”

When host Ellen joked that Natalie is wearing one in the film but viewers just can’t see it, the mother-of-two hit back by jesting that she was actually wearing a diaper during the interview.

Lucy in the Sky, which also stars Jon Hamm, Zazie Beetz, Dan Stevens, and Ellen Burstyn, is set to open in U.S. cinemas in October.

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