‘Godfather’ Director Francis Ford Coppola Completely Roasts Marvel Franchise

Francis Ford Coppola is an iconic director, known for such films as The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and The Conversation. The Hollywood legend jumped headfirst into the Marvel controversy this past Saturday, telling France 24 he thought very little of the popular movie franchise.

Coppola’s derogatory comments came just a few weeks after another well-known director, Martin Scorsese, had some choice words about the box-office busting movie studio.

Coppola is not the first director to throw major shade at the Marvel Studios movies

Martin Scorsese, director of critically acclaimed films such as Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, and The Departed has also been rather critical of the Marvel franchise. He recently told Empire Magazine he did not consider the wildly successful movies to be “cinema.”

“I don’t see them,” the director admitted of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. “I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema.”

Scorsese acknowledged that the films are “well made” and that the actors are “doing the best they can under the circumstances. ” Still, he bashed the movies as being more like “theme parks” than cinema.

“It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being,” the director noted.

The Marvel cast
Kevin Feige, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

‘Despicable’: what Coppola says about the comic book-inspired films

Francis Ford Coppola was even harsher than Martin Scorsese in his comments about the MCU this past weekend. Neither of the legendary filmmakers had nice things to say, but Coppola was considerably less careful with his words.

While speaking to journalists in Lyon, France, Coppola backed his fellow gangster-movie filmmaker.

Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

“When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he’s right because we expect to learn something from cinema,” Coppola explained. “We expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration.”

The 80-year-old director was clearly implying that box office mega-hits like The Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther simply did not enlighten, educate, or inspire. He also claimed that the movies in the Marvel franchise were all the same.

“I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again,” he said.

As if all of those critiques weren’t enough to pile on the MCU, Coppola also seemed to believe that Scorsese “was kind when he said it’s not cinema.”

That’s when Coppola roasted the box-office-busting film studio with his brutal insult.

“He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is,” lambasted Coppola.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ director responds to Coppola’s comments

James Gunn, the director behind all of the space epic Guardians of the Galaxy movies, had issues with Coppola’s comments. He took to Instagram to defend the Marvel franchise against the all the hate.

“Superheroes are simply today’s gangsters/cowboys/outer space adventurers,” he wrote. “Some superhero films are awful, some are beautiful.”

Gunn implied that several years ago, people made similar comments about the kinds of movies Coppola made.

“Many of our grandfathers thought all gangster movies were the same, often calling them ‘despicable’,” Gunn continued. “Some of our great grandfathers thought the same of westerns.”

Marvel director James Gunn
James Gunn | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

While Gunn’s caption doesn’t name Francis Ford Coppola specifically, his use of the world “despicable” was an obvious call-out. But James Gunn closed out the caption on a positive note.

“Like westerns and gangster movies (and before that, just MOVIES), not everyone will be able to appreciate them, even some geniuses,” the filmmaker said. “And that’s okay.” He finished his sentiments off with a red heart emoji.

Twitter weighs in on the Marvel vs. Coppola and Scorsese controversy

Actor and comedian Paul Scheer also responded to the Apocalypse Now director’s shade, accusing Coppola and Scorsese on Twitter of hypocrisy.

“Something tells me they are way less critical of their buddies/contemporaries Spielberg and Lucas who essentially popularized that genre,” he wrote. In the tweet, Scheer was referencing Steven Spielberg’s films Jaws and Jurassic Park and George LucasStar Wars franchise, films that defined the idea of the “blockbuster movie.”

One clever tweeter pointed out via gif that no matter what the classic film directors have to say, Marvel Studios will keep raking in the cash.


Considering how many times the Marvel movies have broken box office records, we don’t think Coppola’s comments will do too much damage to the massively successful franchise, either.