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Francis Ford Coppola: Marvel movies are ‘despicable’

(L-R) Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk in Marvel's 'Thor: Ragnarok' (2017) and Francis Ford Coppola.
(L-R) Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk in Marvel's 'Thor: Ragnarok' (2017) and Francis Ford Coppola. CP Images Archive

Following Martin Scorsese‘s recent critique of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), fellow director Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now) echoed Scorsese’s comments on the Marvel/Disney films over the weekend.

The 80-year-old accepted the Prix Lumière in Lyon, France on Friday, where he was awarded for his contribution to cinema over the last five decades. After making his acceptance speech, Coppola called the MCU films “despicable,” as reported by the Guardian.

“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,” he said.

Coppola was referring to an interview conducted with Scorsese earlier this month, in which he claimed the MCU was “not cinema.”

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“I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again,” continued Coppola. “Martin was kind when he said it’s ‘not cinema.’ He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”

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When asked if he had ever seen the Marvel films, Scorsese, 76, claimed, “I tried. But that’s not cinema,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“Honestly, the closest I can think of [Marvel films], as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks,” Scorsese said. “It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”

In wake of criticism, the Goodfellas director received a ton of backlash online from fans and other directors, including Joss Whedon (The Avengers), Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) and James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy series).

Martin Scorsese attending the premiere of the movie ‘The Irishman’ during 11th Lyon Lumiere Festival at Auditorium in Lyon, France on Oct. 15, 2019.
Martin Scorsese attending the premiere of the movie ‘The Irishman’ during 11th Lyon Lumiere Festival at Auditorium in Lyon, France on Oct. 15, 2019. Julien Reynaud/APS-Medias/ABACAPRESS.COM

Gunn, 53, quickly took to Twitter in response to Scorsese.

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“Martin Scorsese is one of my 5 favorite living filmmakers,” he wrote. “I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film.

“I’m saddened that [Scorsese is] now judging my films in the same way.”

READ MORE: ‘The Irishman’ trailer — Netflix movie transforms Robert De Niro

Gunn also responded to Coppola’s comments on Marvel in a lengthy Instagram post shared on Sunday.

“Many of our grandfathers thought all gangster movies were the same, often calling them ‘despicable,'” Gunn wrote. “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.

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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!” 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. ❤️

A post shared by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

“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 [A Space Odyssey], and, boy, was it boring!’ Superheroes are simply today’s gangsters/cowboys/outer space adventurers.
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“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.”

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Gunn is working on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and DC Comics’ The Suicide Squad — a followup to 2016’s widely unpopular Suicide Squad.

Coppola is reportedly working on his longtime project Megalopolis, which is currently expected for a 2020 release.

‘The Irishman’ trailer
‘The Irishman’ trailer

Scorsese’s upcoming film The Irishman is set to premiere at select cinemas across the globe on Nov. 1 before being released on Netflix on Nov. 27.

Watch the final trailer for ‘The Irishman’ above.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca