Disney CEO Bob Iger, who has a stake in the success of the Marvel feature film franchise, was initially reserved in his reaction to criticism of the blockbuster franchise from high-profile movie directors including Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. But Showbiz Cheatsheet reports that Iger finally returned fire.
As we reported previously, and as has been covered heavily in the media, Scorsese got things started when he said the Marvel films are “not cinema” and likened them to theme parks. Coppola then took his own criticism a step further, calling the Marvel films “despicable.”
Collider notes that other directors have also sounded off, including Ken Loach commenting that the films are a “cynical exercise” and Pedro Almodovar calling them sexless and “neutered.” Click on the link to Collider for editor Matt Goldberg’s discussion of why the debate matters.
Showbiz Cheatsheet notes that Disney’s Iger was initially low-key in his response, saying of Marvel’s high-profile critics: “They have the right to their opinions. Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese are two people I hold in the highest regard. In terms of the films they’ve made, the films I like. The films we’ve all watched.”
But Iger, who initially said he didn’t take the criticism personally, later ratcheted things up.
Showbiz Cheatsheet quotes him saying: “But when Francis uses the words ‘those films are despicable?’ I’d reserve the word ‘despicable’ to [sic] someone who committed mass murder. These are movies! To whom is he talking? Is he talking to Kevin Feige who runs Marvel? Or Taika Waititi, who directs, or Ryan Coogler who directs for us? Or Scarlett Johansson or Chad Boseman? I could name a number of people, Robert Downey Jr.?”
Iger reportedly added: “If they want to b*tch about movies it’s certainly their right. I don’t know. I don’t understand. It seems so disrespectful to all the people that work on those films who are working just as hard as the people that work on their films and are putting their creative souls on the line, just like they are. You telling me Ryan Coogler making Black Panther is doing something somehow or another less than what Marty Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola have ever done on any one of their movies? Come on. Yeah, I said it.”