James Gunn and Natalie Portman have defended Marvel's movies after they were criticised by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. Scorsese became comic book fans’ worst enemy in the beginning of October after he called Marvel’s projects "not movies". The celebrated director said: “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".
Francis Coppola decided to join the fray and called superhero movies "despicable". "Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is", said the director of the Godfather saga.
Natalie Portman, who has previously starred in three Marvel films and will appear in 2021 in Thor: Love and Thunder, argued that: "There is room for all types of cinema. There is not one way to make art".
James Gunn, the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, said films about crime and gangsters, which feature in Scorsese’s and Coppola’s filmography, were disliked by many of their grandfathers.
"Many of our grandfathers thought all gangster movies were the same, often calling them 'despicable'. Like westerns and gangster movies (and before that, just MOVIES), not everyone will be able to appreciate them, even some geniuses. And that’s okay", Gunn said in an Instagram post.
Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Downey Jr also responded to Scorsese’s criticism of Marvel's films. Downey, who starred in the Iron Man and Avengers franchises, including Avengers: Endgame, which became the highest grossing film of all time, said he appreciated Scorsese’s opinion and stressed: "I think it’s like anything, we need all of the perspectives so we can come to the centre and move on".