The feud between lovers of cinema and Marvel fanboys heated up over the weekend when legendary director Francis Ford Coppola – the man who gave us “The Godfather,” “The Conversation,” “Patton,” and “Apocalypse Now” – backed Martin Scorsese’s assertion that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is not cinema, even going a step further to denounce those movies as “despicable.”
Speaking at a press conference in Lyon, France, where he was slated to receive the Prix Lumiere for his cinematic contributions, Coppola flatly agreed with his longtime friend Scorsese that Marvel movies are essentially formulaic theme park rides with no heart or soul.
“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,” said Coppola. “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.”
Earlier this month, Scorsese stoked the ire of millions of Marvel fanboys when he said the MCU movies were more like theme park rides than cinematic experiences.
“I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” Scorsese told Empire Magazine. “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.”
Neither Scorsese nor Coppola are alone in their belief about the Marvel movies, and are joined by director James Cameron — one of the highest-grossing blockbuster directors of all-time — who once said that the films lack a heart.
“I’m hoping we’ll start getting ‘Avenger’ fatigue here pretty soon,” Cameron told IndieWire in 2018. “It’s just, come on guys, there are other stories to tell besides hypergonadal males (men who produce too much testosterone) without families doing death-defying things for two hours and wrecking cities in the process. It’s like, oy!”
Naturally, the comments from both Scorsese and Coppola have prompted severe backlash online with virtually no nuance in between.
“Francis Ford Coppola spent 14 months on principal photography for ‘Apocalypse Now,’” said Charlotte Clymer. “He made ‘The Godfather.’ He’s an insufferable genius. I can’t believe anyone cares that he hates Marvel movies. It’s apples and oranges. Some of y’all take this Marvel s**t way too seriously.”
“People older than Coppola said the same thing about much of his work when he first emerged. This seems like a generational thing, artists age,” Hilluminati tweeted. “The world changes. They feel like their passions are being replaced by ‘lesser’ things. Cycles happen. I-ching, feng shui, roll with it.”
“Scorsese and Coppola are on the cinematic Mt. Rushmore,” tweeted Robliefeld. “They have more than earned their views on cinema and their opinions should not surprise or ignite. They won’t affect the creation of comic films or your enjoyment of them.”
‘”How dare Coppola say mean things about Marvel movies when he made [random bad movie]’ is a weak sneer,” tweeted Mark Harris. “Every filmmaker with a real body of work makes some bad movies. Stop whining, nobody’s gonna take your precious two-and-a-half-star superhero films away.”