Bob Iger, the CEO of The Walt Disney Company, has said that if Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola 'want to bitch about movies, that's certainly their right', but he's strongly defending the Marvel franchise.
The directors have both spoken out against the blockbuster, billion-dollar hauling Marvel Cinematic Universe in recents weeks.
Martin Scorsese told Empire magazine that the he doesn't consider the movies to be 'cinema', while Ford Coppola went a step further, calling them 'despicable'.
Speaking at the Wall street Journal's Tech Live event in California (via Cnet), Iger said: “Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese are two people I hold in the highest regard.
“But when Francis uses the words, 'those films are despicable'. I reserve the word 'despicable' to someone who committed mass murder. These are movies.”
Coppola made the comments while speaking to reporters at the Festival Lumière in Lyon last weekend.
“When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he's right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration,” said the 80-year-old director of Apocalypse Now.
“I don't know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again.
“Martin was kind when he said it's not cinema. He didn't say it's despicable, which I just say it is.”
Iger went on to say: “It seems so disrespectful to all the people that work on those films… are you telling me Ryan Coogler, making Black Panther is doing something that is somehow or another 'less than' what Marty Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola have ever done on any one of their movies?
“Like, come on. There. I said it.”
The comments have caused division in the film industry, many actors and directors coming to the defence of the franchise, while others have agreed with the sentiments of Scorsese and Coppola.
British director Ken Loach yesterday called the movies 'a cynical exercise', describing them as 'commodities like hamburgers', while Fernando Meirelles, who helmed City of God said: “I can’t disagree with Scorsese because I don’t watch [Marvel movies]… I watched a ‘Spider-Man’ eight years ago, and that was it. I’m not interested.”
In a post to Instagram, James Gunn, who directed the Guardians of the Galaxy series, said:
Meanwhile, Lost creator and Watchmen series showrunner Damon Lindelof sought to question how many Marvel movies Scorsese has actually seen.