Hollywood legends Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola sent loyal Marvel Studios fans scrambling earlier this month after calling the superhero movies ‘not cinema’ and ‘despicable,’ respectively.
Oscar winner Natalie Portman defended her past and future employer Saturday in Los Angeles at the 6th annual LA Dance Project gala.
The 38–year–old Thor: The Dark World actress defended the series of interconnected films as just ‘one way to make art,’ according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Running defense: Oscar winner Natalie Portman, 38, defended her past and future employer Marvel Studios on Saturday after legendary directors Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese called them ‘despicable’ and ‘not cinema,’ respectively
‘I think there’s room for all types of cinema,’ she said during the event, adding ‘There’s not one way to make art.’
Her comments came in response to combative remarks from filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, 80, best known for directing the Godfather trilogy and the Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now (1979).
‘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,’ he said according to Yahoo.
‘I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same move over and over again. Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.’
The auteur made his comments while receiving the prestigious Prix Lumiere in Lyon, France.
Taxi Driver and Goodfellas director Martin Scorsese previously said Marvel films had more in common with theme park rides than cinema earlier this month.
On the payroll: ‘I think there’s room for all types of cinema,’ she said during the event, adding ‘There’s not one way to make art’; pictured with Chris Hemsworth in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World
Natalie was previously part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after starring as Jane Foster in Thor (2011) and it’s sequel The Dark World (2013).
The second film current holds the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score among all MCU films and was criticized for the underdeveloped relationship between her character and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor.
Her character was written out of the popular follow-up Thor: Ragnarok (2017), though she returned to the fold for a small cameo in Avengers: Endgame earlier this year.
Comic movies: Natalie was previously part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after starring as Jane Foster in Thor (2011) and it’s sequel The Dark World (2013); with Stellan Skarsgård (L) and Kat Dennings (R) in Thor (2011)
In the years between her Thor projects, the Phantom Menace star appeared in the critically acclaimed Annihilation (2018) and earned an Oscar nomination for her role as the Jackie Kennedy in 2016’s Jackie.
She also appeared in the auteurist films Song To Song (2017) and Vox Lux (2018), both of which polarized critics.
Natalie’s comments came as she’s preparing to star opposite Hemsworth again in Thor: Love And Thunder, in which she’ll gain the Norse god’s powers.
She was joined at Saturday’s LADP event by her husband, French dancer Benjamin Millepied.
The choreographer founded the dance organization, and his wife serves as its co-chair.
Natalie’s MCU compatriot Sebastian Stan gave his own response to Coppola’s remarks on Sunday.
Stan is known for his role as Winter Soldier in the Marvel Studios film franchise, which he’ll next revive for the Disney+ show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
The actor responded to the controversy during a panel at Fandemic Tour in Houston, Texas.
Bucky chimes in: Sebastian Stan has officially responded after his ‘hero’ Francis Ford Coppola joined the pile-on against Marvel movies
According to Comic Book, he said: ‘He’s one of my heroes and I was listening to him and meanwhile, I just spent the day with all of you.
‘People have been going up to me like “Thank you so much for this character,” “This movie helped me out so much,” “This movie inspired me. Now I feel better. Now I feel less alone,” so how can you say these movies are not helping people?’ This comes shortly after Coppola backed up Martin Scorsese’s recent anti-Marvel views.
Helping people: He said in response to Coppola: ‘People have been going up to me like “Thank you so much for this character,” “This movie helped me out so much,” “This movie inspired me. Now I feel better. Now I feel less alone,” so how can you say these movies are not helping people?’
Winter Soldier: Stan is known for his role as Winter Soldier in the Marvel Studios film franchise, which he’ll next revive for the Disney+ show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Marvel bashing: Just days after Martin Scorsese bashed Marvel Studios superhero movies, he got another ally in Francis Ford Coppola who agrees with Scorsese’s stance
This comes after Scorsese told Empire: ‘I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema. 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’s statement lead to several Marvel Studios directors to respond to his criticism, including Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn.
Gunn tweeted: ‘Martin Scorsese is one of my 5 favorite living filmmakers. I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way.’
He added: ‘That said, I will always love Scorsese, be grateful for his contribution to cinema, and can’t wait to see The Irishman.
‘And I’m not saying religious zealotry is the same as not liking my movies, or in the same category. What I’m saying is I’m not fond of people judging things without actually seeing them, whether it’s a movie about Jesus or a genre.’