After Coppola Slam, James Gunn Defends Marvel Movies as Cinema (Again)

“Like westerns and gangster movies, not everyone will be able to appreciate them…and that’s okay,” the “Guardians of the Galaxy” filmmaker says

Last Updated: October 20, 2019 @ 4:21 PM

Once again, a Hollywood icon has panned Marvel movies and, once again, James Gunn has spoken out in defense of them.

The “Guardians of the Galaxy” filmmaker responded in an Instagram post Sunday to Francis Ford Coppola’s comments at the Lumiere Festival in France this weekend. Coppola was asked whether he agreed with Martin Scorsese’s comments that Marvel movies were not cinema, and the “The Godfather” director said in part, “Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”

Gunn did not mention Scorsese or Coppola in his post by name, but did reference the latter’s use of the word “despicable” when noting that superhero films aren’t the first populist genre to receive derision from more artistic filmmakers.

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Many of our grandfathers thought all gangster movies were the same, often calling them “despicable”. Some of our great grandfathers thought the same of westerns, and believed the films of John Ford, Sam Peckinpah, and Sergio Leone were all exactly the same. I remember a great uncle to whom I was raving about Star Wars. He responded by saying, “I saw that when it was called 2001, and, boy, was it boring!” Superheroes are simply today’s gangsters/cowboys/outer space adventurers. Some superhero films are awful, some are beautiful. 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. ❤️

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“Many of our grandfathers thought all gangster movies were the same, often calling them ‘despicable,'” Gunn wrote. “Some of our great grandfathers thought the same of westerns, and believed the films of John Ford, Sam Peckinpah, and Sergio Leone were all exactly the same.”

The “Guardians of the Galaxy” filmmaker noted that his great uncle dismissed his excited reaction to “Star Wars” by comparing the iconic blockbuster film to Stanley Kubrick’s far more meditative “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which he called “boring.”

“Superheroes are simply today’s gangsters/cowboys/outer space adventurers. Some superhero films are awful, some are beautiful. 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 is currently filming the DC film “The Suicide Squad,” which will be released by Warner Bros. in 2021. After that, he is set to return to Marvel Studios to direct “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which currently has no set release date.

Coppola, meanwhile, is continuing to work on “Megalopolis,” a utopian drama that he has been developing on-and-off for 20 years, and which he says would require a larger budget than the infamously expensive “Apocalypse Now.”

“I wanted to make a film about a human expression of what really is heaven on earth,” Coppola said this weekend.

“I would say it’s the most ambitious film (I’ve worked on) — more than ‘Apocalypse Now’. That’s the problem.”

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