Francis Ford Coppola has clarified his recent Marvel movie criticism, which kicked off major blowback from superhero movie fans. In the last decade, Superhero movies have become a multi-billion-dollar industry, with Marvel and DC releases regularly dominating the box office. As such, even films by legendary directors like Coppola are living in Marvel’s shadow.
The controversy began several weeks ago when filmmaker Martin Scorsese revealed his disdain for the genre, stating that Marvel movies weren’t cinema. These comments elicited both cries of protest and nods of agreement from the movie-going public. As was to be expected, a number of comic book movie actors and directors came forward to defend the genre against Scorsese’s claims, which then lead to other venerated filmmakers such as Coppola and Ken Loach speaking up in support of Scorsese. In fact, it was Coppola who delivered one of the harshest indictments of comic book movies when he called them “despicable”. As the reaction to the comments intensified, Scorsese came forward to clarify and expand upon his initial comments, and now Coppola has done the same.
Thanks to Deadline, the five-time Oscar-winning director once again turned to the subject of comic book movies. This time, however, Coppola made it clear that his initial comments were mistranslated. The original “despicable” interview occurred while he was in France accepting an award for career achievement. The famed Godfather director’s original comments can be found below.
“You know I’m sure you’re extracting from whatever Martin said. The gist of his statement. If you asked him is there is cinematic talent, cinematic expression, is there great even work in certain Marvel films, he would say yes. But what his point his, is that the concept of the Marvel film which has eaten up all the oxygen, which is to say the resources is not really is more of a theme park ride than what we would call cinema. Yes, I agree with him….Real cinema brings something, a wonderful gift to society. It doesn’t just take money and make people rich. That’s despicable. (Pause for translation) So Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema, he didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just said it is.”
Despite having directed what is arguably the greatest franchise of all time with his Godfather films, Coppola went on to say that he doesn’t actually like franchises. This opinion falls in line with his belief that cinema must involve artistic risk to be great and that a franchise is simply a formulaic piece of work designed to gross huge sums of money with recycled characters and plots.
While some comic book fans may be tired of defending the genre, Coppola deserves the benefit of the doubt. Mistranslations have clearly fuelled at least part of this fire. It’s worth noting that both Scorsese and Coppola are friends of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, each of whom have made careers out of franchises. In other words, neither Scorsese nor Coppola’s take on MCU and comic book movies is a personal attack on the filmmakers or actors. Rather, he was expressing his dislike for films that place financial gain ahead of the pursuit (and risk) of creating something new.
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Source: Comic Book