Francis Ford Coppola clarifies those 'despicable Marvel' comments

Ben Arnold
Francis Ford Coppola (Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Francis Ford Coppola has clarified the comments in which he dubbed the Marvel movies 'despicable'.

The eminent director of movies including The Godfather and Apocalypse Now made the remarks to press in France, as he was attending a film festival in Lyon, where he was awarded the Prix Lumière for his contributions to cinema.

And while he's not claiming to have been misquoted as such, he's said that his point was somewhat mistranslated.

Coppola was asked what he thought of his contemporary and friend Martin Scorsese's comments that he considers the Marvel movies 'not cinema'.

Read more: Bob Iger responds to Coppola and Scorsese’s ‘b**ching’

The quote which was then circulated was: “Martin was kind when he said it's not cinema. He didn't say it's despicable, which I just say it is.”

It's the 'it' part that is key here.

Deadline now appears to have the full answer from Coppola, and it is rather more nuanced.

“If you asked [Scorsese] is there is cinematic talent, cinematic expression, is there great even work in certain Marvel films, he would say yes,” Coppola told reporters.

Avengers: Endgame (Credit: Marvel)

“But what his point his, is that the concept of the Marvel film which has eaten up all the oxygen, which is to say the resources is not really is more of a theme park ride than what we would call cinema. Yes, I agree with him. (Pause for translation) But also television commercials is cinema – but is it a beautiful form of cinema? No.

“Wealth is only what is just, what brings more to the society. Cinema is the same way. Real cinema brings something, a wonderful gift to society. It doesn’t just take money and make people rich. That’s despicable. (Pause for translation) So Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema, he didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just said it is.”

Read more: Martin Scorsese doubles down on Marvel comments

Coppola then went on to tell Deadline: “Personally I don’t like the idea of franchises, the notion that you can keep repeating what is essentially the same movie for financial gain - in other words, what is a formulaic approach.

“I feel that approach is taken to reduce the economic risk of movies, and I feel the 'risk factor' is an element that makes movies sometimes be great. Also, the formulaic film draws most available resources to them, leaving little for more daring productions, reducing diversity.”