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SYFY WIRE Jon Favreau

Jon Favreau and Bob Iger weigh in on Marvel movie bashing from Scorsese and Coppola

By Josh Weiss
Bob Iger Jon Favreau

Two Disney heavyweights, Jon Favreau and Bob Iger, are now weighing in the "controversy" surrounding the Marvel movie comments made by celebrated directors Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.

"These two guys are my heroes, and they have earned the right to express their opinions,” Favreau (Iron Man, The Lion Kingtold CNBC yesterday morning. “I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if they didn’t carve the way. They served as a source of inspiration, you can go all the way back to Swingers.... They can express whatever opinion they like.”

Scorsese, whose three-hour crime epic about Jimmy Hoffa — The Irishman — drops on Netflix next month, was the first to stir the pot by claiming that comic book films aren't "cinema." This drew an overwhelming response from many MCU vets like James Gunn, Joss Whedon, Samuel L. Jackson, Karen Gillan, and Robert Downey Jr.

The Taxi Driver director later doubled down on his comments when he said that "we shouldn't be invaded by" the superhero genre. Coppola (The Godfather) took the whole thing one step further by describing comic book projects as "despicable," something that drew another response from Gunn. Ken Loach (Cathy Come Home) became the third old school filmmaker to bash comic book flicks by referring to them as "commodities like hamburgers."

Scorsese Coppola Loach

"I reserve the word ‘despicable’ for someone who committed mass murder,” Iger, the current CEO and Chairman of Disney, said while speaking at the Wall Street Journal Tech Live conference in Laguna Beach, California. "It doesn't bother me, except I'm bothered on behalf of the people who work on those movies ... I don't take it personally ... They don't see how the audience is reacting to [our movies], first of all ... They're entitled to their opinions. Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese are two people I hold in the highest regard ... but when Francis [says] those films are 'despicable,' to whom is he talking? Is he talking to Kevin Feige? ... or Taika Waititi? ... or Ryan Coogler? ... Scarlett Johansson? ... or Chad Boseman? I could name a number of people ... so I don't quite get what they're trying to criticize us for when we're making films that people are obviously enjoying going to, because they're doing so by the millions."

"I don't really feel a need to defend what we're doing ... I'm puzzled by it," he added. "If they want to bitch about movies, it's certainly their right ... It seems to disrespectful to all the people who work on those films who are working just has hard as the people who work on their films and are putting their creative souls on the line just like they are. You tell 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."

After a big year that included Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, the MCU won't return to the big screen until next May with the release of Cate Shortland's Black Widow.