James Gunn and Natalie Portman defend Marvel films after attack by Francis Ford Coppola

Jacob Stolworthy
Getty Images

James Gunn has jumped to the defence of Marvel once again after Francis Ford Coppola branded superhero films “despicable”.

Coppola, director of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, joined forces with Martin Scorsese to criticise the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to a report in Agence France-Presse, he said: “When [he] 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.”

He added: “Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”

While Guardians of the Galaxy director Gunn received a backlash for his criticism of Scorsese’s initial comments, he has spoken out once again in an Instagram post that argues ”many of our grandfathers thought all gangster moves” weren’t very good.

“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,” Gunn wrote.

He continued: “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.”

Natalie Portman, who’ll play a female superhero in Thor: Love and Thunder, also defended Marvel films amid the fresh criticism.

“I think there’s room for all types of cinema,” she said at the sixth annual LA Dance Project gala in Los Angeles, adding “There’s not one way to make art.”