Another day, another person weighing in on the ongoing Marvel drama that started with some comments made by filmmaker Martin Scorsese. This time, Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch is adding his two cents into the mix. Scorsese, the director behind Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, The Departed and a slew of other classics, started this whole thing when he stated that he doesn't consider Marvel movies to be "cinema," then proceeded to compare them to theme park rides.
In the days that followed, Martin Scorsese doubled-down on his comments, whilst others weighed in. Then things got even more heated when The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola, another legend by any measure, not only backed Scorsese up, but went so far as to call Marvel movies "despicable." Considering the love that a great many people all around the world have for superheroes right now, things have become understandably tense.
Benedict Cumberbatch is no small part of the equation, after having played the Sorcerer Supreme in his own solo movie, as well as Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. While promoting the release of his new movie The Current War on Jenny McCarthy's Sirius XM show, Cumberbatch was asked to share his thoughts on the matter. Here's what he had to say about it.
"I know there's been a lot of debate lately with very fine filmmakers coming to the fore saying that these film franchises are taking over everything. But lucky us actors who get to both kinds of variety, at either polarity of budgeting. And I agree you don't want one king to rule them all and have a kind of monopoly on it. Hopefully, that's not the case, and we should really look into continuing to support auteur filmmakers on every level."
That's one of the more even-tempered responses we've heard to all of this. Recently, Disney CEO Bob Iger shared his not-so-subtle thoughts on the matter, going to bat for Marvel, specifically saying Ryan Coogler's Black Panther is something that should certainly be considered cinema, right alongside the movies of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. Yet, it's easy to see why these auteurs are having a hard time accepting Marvel's dominance over the industry.
The movies that these men have made, and continue to make, simply don't perform like they used to in the modern marketplace. Case in point, Martin Scorsese had to go to Netflix to get The Irishman made, since its state of the art de-aging technology and large scope proved quite costly, with the budget reported to be $170 million. Somewhat ironically, Steven Spielberg has argued that Netflix movies perhaps shouldn't qualify for Academy Awards, as he considers them to be TV, since Netflix only provides limited theatrical runs, largely to qualify for awards. Whatever the case, the MCU isn't going anywhere, anytime soon, no matter what any auteur filmmaker may think of these movies. Feel free to check out the full interview clip with Benedict Cumberbatch from the JennyMcCarthyTV YouTube channel.