Acclaimed directors Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola recently sparked a cinematic debate with some sharp words for Marvel films and similar big-budget blockbusters. It’s already resulted in a variety of responses, and the latest comes from Thor herself.
Both of the directors have agreed that the cinematic roller coaster rides like Marvel films are “not cinema,” prompting responses from across the film industry. Natalie Portman, star of the upcoming Marvel film Thor: Love and Thunder, politely disagreed with a defense of escapism.
“I think there’s room for all types of cinema,” Portman told The Hollywood Reporter. “There’s not one way to make art. I think that Marvel films are so popular because they’re really entertaining and people desire entertainment when they have their special time after work, after dealing with their hardships in real life.”
Portman herself has a big role in an upcoming Marvel film, so it stands to reason that she sees the value in them. She’s previously starred as Jane Foster, Thor’s love interest in his first two movies. She’s set to take on the hammer herself in Love and Thunder, adapting a comic story in which Foster became the superhero. But she has more traditionally artistic bona fides as well, having won a Best Actress Academy Award for her turn in the 2010 drama Black Swan.
Several other creatives have stepped forward to voice their opinions as well, including fellow Marvel actor Samuel L. Jackson, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, and Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld. The tone of the feedback has been respectful of Coppola and Scorsese’s contributions to cinema. Most recently, Disney CEO Bob Iger said he feels that the strong words are disrespectful to the people who work on them.
“It doesn’t bother me, except I am bothered on behalf of the people who work on those movies,” Iger said. “I don’t take it personally. [Scorsese and Coppola] don’t see how the audience is reacting to [Marvel movies], first of all. They’re entitled to their opinions.”
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