Jon Favreau Addresses Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola’s Criticism of Marvel Movies

Jon Favreau'The Lion King' film premiere,
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Jon Favreau, actor, director and staple in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, addressed Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola’s criticisms of Marvel movies during an interview with CNBC

“These two guys are my heroes and they’ve earned the right to express their opinions,” Favreau said. “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if they didn’t carve the way. They’ve served as a source of inspiration, you can go all the way back to ‘Swingers’ where I was referencing Marty, and I’ve worked with him. For me, they can express whatever opinion they’d like.”

Scorsese, known for films like “Taxi Driver,” “Wolf of Wall Street” and, most recently, “The Irishman,” sparked the ongoing debate when he compared Marvel’s billion-dollar franchise to theme parks earlier this month. During an interview with Empire Magazine, Scorsese explained why he doesn’t watch the MCU films. 

“I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” Scorsese said. “Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”

Scorsese refused to back down from his stance, later adding that theaters have become amusement parks during a press conference at the BFI London Film Festival. 

“It’s not my kind of thing; it simply is not,” the Academy-award winning director said. “It’s creating another kind of audience that thinks cinema is that. We shouldn’t be invaded by it. We need cinemas to step up and show films that are narrative films.”

Coppola continued the controversy by claiming that Scorsese held back in his critique of the Marvel films during the Lumière Festival in Lyons, France. 

“When Martin Scorsese 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. I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again,” the “Godfather” director said. “Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which is what I say.”

Favreau, who directed and starred in the first Marvel-produced film, “Iron Man,” has been a consistent presence in the MCU since 2008. As an executive producer or an actor, Favreau was involved in all four “Avengers” films. Additionally he starred in both “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and Spider-Man: Far From Home.” 

Favreau is currently developing “The Mandalorian,” a Western set in the “Star Wars” universe starring Taika Waititi, Giancarlo Esposito and Pedro Pascal, for Disney Plus. The series premieres Nov. 12.