Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola’s Marvel movie criticisms have set off a chain reaction of responses from talent both inside and outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe (yes, even two-time Palme d’Or winner and kitchen sink drama master Ken Loach has weighed in comparing Marvel films to hamburgers). While MCU names such as Natalie Portman, Taika Waititi, and James Gunn have defended Marvel films against accusations they are “despicable” and not real cinema, “Iron Man” director and MCU actor Jon Favreau is choosing to be a bit more diplomatic.
“These two guys are my heroes, and they have earned the right to express their opinions,” Favreau told CNBC on Tuesday (via The Wrap). “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if they didn’t carve the way. They served as a source of inspiration, you can go all the way back to ‘Swingers.’ They can express whatever opinion they like.”
In addition to directing “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2,” Favreau has starred in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Happy Hogan for over a decade. Favreau’s character popped up in both “Avengers: Endgame” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” this year. Favreau’s directorial career as of late has gone heavy on pre-exiting IP thanks to “The Jungle Book” and “The Lion King,” two Disney remakes that Scorsese might also consider “theme parks.” Favreau is also behind the upcoming Disney+ “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian,” which debuts November 12.
Scorsese was the first auteur to come out strong against Marvel movies. In an interview at the start of October, Scorsese was quoted as saying, “Honestly, the closest I can think of [Marvel movies], 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.”
Coppola joined the anti-Marvel train October 20 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. Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”