James Gunn responds after Francis Ford Coppola calls Marvel movies "despicable"

(Image credit: Getty)

The Martin Scorsese Marvel controversy shows no signs of falling by the wayside. Following on from The Irishman director’s comments on whether MCU movies are cinema – or, as he says, like theme park rides – Apocalypse Now and The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola has gone a step further. Coppola has outright called them “despicable”, which has drawn a response from Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn.

“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,” Coppola said at the Lumiere Festival in Lyon.

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

That choice of phrasing has led to Gunn taking to Instagram. In a caption below an image of Groot and Rocket, he said, “Many of our grandfathers thought all gangster movies were the same, often calling them ‘despicable’. Some of our great grandfathers thought the same of westerns… Superheroes are simply today’s gangsters/cowboys/outer space adventurers. Some superhero films are awful, some are beautiful… not everyone will be able to appreciate them, even some geniuses. And that’s okay.”

Gunn’s rebuttal is proof that this style of debate has been going on for decades – and won't be letting up any time soon.

Whether you think it's cinema or not, the MCU has a bright future: here's everything coming as part of Marvel Phase 4.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.