Le Mans ‘66 director James Mangold believes Martin Scorsese “generalised too much” with his controversial comments about comic book movies and said Marvel has become “an easy target”.
Legendary director Scorsese said in an interview last month that he does not consider Marvel movies to be “cinema” comparing them to theme park rides.
The comments have sparked a wide-ranging debate in Hollywood about the artistic merit of comic book films, with Marvel directors defending their work and the likes of Ken Loach and Francis Ford Coppola agreeing with Scorsese.
Mangold, who made two X-Men spin-offs – 2013’s The Wolverine and 2017’s Logan – said he is “weary” of movies that are teasing future franchise events rather than existing as self-contained stories.
He said: “I think Marty is one of the great geniuses of cinema, but I think sometimes we all generalise and I think he might have generalised too much.
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“I am weary of films that aren't just selling their own experience, but the next movie.
“I love it when a film owns the two hours it's taking from you without trying to tease you about the next two hours in two years or the other products you can buy or the other movie it's interconnecting with.”
Mangold is currently promoting motor racing drama Le Mans ‘66, which follows the famous battle between Ford and Ferrari for dominance in the 24-hour race at Le Mans.
Matt Damon portrays Carroll Shelby, who was approached by Ford to build their car, while Christian Bale stars as the maverick Brummie racing driver Shelby hired to get behind the wheel.
The 55-year-old director said he thinks films cross over into being television series when they lean too far into selling future movies.
But he cautioned that he’s never keen to criticise movies he hasn’t seen, and Scorsese admitted in the original interview that he now does not watch comic book films.
“The theatrical event should be, for me, a complete experience with a beginning, middle and an end, not a chapter in an endless saga,” Mangold added.
“But that doesn't apply only to Marvel. It applies all over the place that at some point I like it that a movie stands on its own two legs.
“I think there's plenty of Marvel movies that stand on their own two legs. There's plenty of highly compromised movies that have nothing to do with Marvel. It just becomes too easy a target.”
Mangold also provided an update on the progress of a potential spin-off for Dafne Keen’s Logan character X-23, which he said is unlikely to happen as a result of Disney’s takeover of 20th Century Fox.
Fans of Logan hoped to see more of Keen’s character, who formed an unlikely bond with Hugh Jackman’s take on Wolverine in the latter stages of his life.
“I think it's probably – at least in the near time – gone, until I hear different,” he revealed.
“With Hugh [Jackman] moving on, I think they're going to be more interested in trying to figure out where they're going in the future with these characters in general, and with Wolverine in specific.”
Le Mans ‘66 is in UK cinemas from 15 November.