Disney CEO Bob Iger snaps back at Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola's criticisms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Early this month, Scorsese revealed that he just can't get on-board with the franchise, comparing its movies to theme parks and ultimately calling them "not cinema." It resulted in an ongoing debate about the film series which garnered varying opinions not just from the general viewing public but also from people in the industry.
Key MCU personalities like Robert Downey Jr., James Gunn, Joss Whedon and Samuel L. Jackson have all responded to his criticism, as well as Kevin Smith and Damon Lindelof. All of them echo the same sentiments: they're grateful for Scorsese's indelible contribution to Hollywood, but respectfully disagree with his thoughts on the MCU. The Irishman filmmaker came up with a couple more statements regarding the matter - one, double-downing on his previous sentiments, followed up by a supposed clarification. The controversial topic got second wind when another renowned director in Coppola not only sided with Scorsese, but also ramped up his MCU criticism by calling its movies "despicable." Now, it's Iger's time to speak up, and he surprisingly got candid about his response.
Speaking at the Wall Street Journal's Tech Live event, Iger, who was instrumental in bringing Marvel Studios under the Disney umbrella a decade ago, weighed in on the matter. Like everyone else who commented on the matter, the executive acknowledged Scorsese and Coppola's impressive portfolio, but after that, he clearly made his thoughts known.
“When Francis uses the words ‘those films are despicable,’ I’d reserve the word ‘despicable’ for someone who had committed mass murder I don’t get what they’re criticizing us for when we’re making films that people are obviously enjoying going to and they’re doing so by the millions. I’m puzzled by it. If they want to bitch about movies it’s certainly their right. It doesn't bother me, except I'm bothered on behalf of the people who work on those movies. It seems so disrespectful to all the people that work on those films, who are working just as hard as the people who work on their films, and are putting their creative souls on the line, just like they are. Are you telling me that Ryan Coogler making Black Panther is doing something that somehow or another is less than anything Marty Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola have ever done on any one of their movies? Come on.”
Admittedly, Iger may have gone too far with the Black Panther comparison objectively-speaking. Then again, as repeatedly mentioned during this whole discussion, everyone is entitled to their opinion, so preference in any art form is subjective. Iger has a point, however, with regard to how these harsh comments affect people who are behind the Marvel movies. Whether or not one likes them, it cannot be denied that it's still hard work for those who are involved in building the franchise. And considering what they're able to build in the last 10 years, it's totally unfair to write them off so flippantly like that. It makes it much worse coming from two of the greatest filmmaker of all time who have first-hand knowledge on how difficult it is to create films, regardless of the genre.
At this point, it seems like the debate centering on the Marvel Cinematic Universe will continue until the foreseeable future. While this topic will always garner varying opinions from everyone, it's important to remember that discourse should always be respectful. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to movies, and it's okay to not agree on everything. But people can not like a film or a franchise without the need to purposefully tear it down.
Source: Wall Street Journal
- 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
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021