You don’t become one of the world’s most esteemed living filmmakers without making a few enemies. In a new interview with GQ, Francis Ford Coppola didn’t shy away from calling out his pet peeves in modern cinema, revealing that he generally finds Marvel movies formulaic and repetitive.
“There used to be studio films,” the Godfather mastermind said. “Now there are Marvel pictures. And what is a Marvel picture? A Marvel picture is one prototype movie that is made over and over and over and over and over again to look different.”
Even some non-Marvel blockbusters, particularly Dune and No Time to Die, haven’t pleased Coppola, either (ironically, Dune director Denis Villeneuve has also voiced his frustrations with the science of Marvel).
“You could take both those movies, and you and I could go and pull the same sequence out of both of them and put them together,” Coppola added. “The same sequence where the cars all crash into each other. They all have that stuff in it, and they almost have to have it, if they’re going to justify their budget. And that’s the good films, and the talented filmmakers.”
Coppola’s comments echo those of another legend in Martin Scorsese, who said in 2019 said he doesn’t consider Marvel movies “cinema.” The filmmaker first told Empire that the movies are more like “theme parks” because they don’t have the “emotional, psychological experiences” of real cinema before calling on theater owners to “step up” so we aren’t “invaded by” superhero blockbusters instead of narrative films.
But to those hoping to become an esteemed filmmaker in their own right, Coppola has some heartwarming advice: “I always tell my kids, like Sofia — ‘Let your films be personal,'” he said. “Always make it as personal as you can because you are a miracle, that you’re even alive. Then your art will be a miracle because it reflects stuff from someone who there is no other one like that.'”
After taking a brief hiatus from directing, Coppola is expected to return soon with Megalopolis, an ambitious “love story” he’s had in the works for more than 40 years. He explained that it’s about a woman “divided between loyalties to two men” — her conventional father and a forward-thinking love interest — and he estimates it’ll cost $120 million to make. That’s one superhero-sized budget.
Hopefully, Coppola will have some nice things to say about Francis and the Godfather, a forthcoming biopic about the making of his 1972 masterpiece.