James Gunn Pushes Back Against Scorsese & Coppola's Marvel Criticism

James Gunn Martin Scorsese Francis Ford Coppola

James Gunn has responded to recent comments from Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Gunn is, of course, the acclaimed writer and director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. The characters of those films recently emerged from their own cosmic corner of the shared universe and teamed up with the earthbound heroes in the record-breaking Avengers: Endgame. Star-Lord and the rest of his titular team, however, will next return in a solo outing. Despite previously being fired over some comments of his own, Gunn was later rehired and will round out his trilogy with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Between them, Scorsese and Coppola have created some of the most acclaimed and beloved cinematic offerings of all time. While the former directed such classics as Taxi Driver and Goodfellas, he has continued to work to this day. In recent years, he personally directed The Wolf of Wall Street and even had a hand in producing Joker. His next project is the highly-anticipated Netflix film, The Irishman - which is already being hailed as a masterpiece by many. Coppola, meanwhile, is responsible for Apocalypse Now, The Godfather Trilogy, and many more. In recent weeks, Scorsese went on record and denounced Marvel movies as not being cinema. As the subsequent debate continues to rage, Coppola weighed in on the matter, going a step further and labeled them as "despicable".

Related: What Martin Scorsese Gets Right (& Wrong) About Marvel Movies

In response, Gunn took to Instagram to offer his thoughts. Posting a picture of Groot and Rocket from the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, he discussed without insult how previous generations similarly viewed gangster movies and westerns. Akin to how superhero films are the biggest box office draws now, those particular genres were the most prevalent at their respective times. Gunn even went a step further, presenting a conversation he'd once hand with his own grandfather when the latter had equally dismissed such space-faring adventures as Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The writer/director ultimately concluded by trying to bridge the gap between the dividing forces and acknowledge the validity of such divergent views. Check out the full post below:

Although he will soon return to the Marvel fold, Gunn will first finish working across the comic book aisle on The Suicide Squad. The follow-up/soft-reboot is currently filming with a mixture of brand-new and returning cast members in Atlanta. This isn't the first time Gunn has fired back, previously addressing his dismay of Scorsese's views. Nor is he the only one with Joss Whedon weighing in and Taika Waititi offering his own sardonic rebuttal. Outside of the Marvel sphere, HBO's Watchmen creator Damon Lindelof offered his disagreement. Despite that, Scorsese has since doubled down on his original sentiments.

Fans will, of course, have their own views on the debate and which side of the fence they ultimately fall on. Regardless, there is a lot of wisdom in what Gunn had to say. There will always be a genre of film that seems to capture the attention of the movie-going public more than others. For better or for worse, that would currently be comic book adaptations. Regardless, as some recent films have shown, there is just as much room in the hearts of audiences for other cinematic experiences. And while it could be easy to dismiss the MCU as lacking artistic distinction or akin to fast food, plenty of heart and soul and effort is poured into many of those films. Either way, it's certainly possible to enjoy one type or another - or even both - without needing to demean others. Because, whatever the case and whatever one's view or personal taste in films, as Gunn himself stated, it's all subjective and equally valid.

More: Every MCU Actor James Gunn Has Cast In The Suicide Squad

Source: James Gunn/Instagram

Key Release Dates
  • Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
  • Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022
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