Jon Favreau addresses criticism of Marvel movies

Martin Scorsese's recent comment that superhero blockbusters are "not cinema" has sparked a fierce debate in filmmaking circles.

Iron Man director Jon Favreau isn't offended by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola's scathing stance on Marvel films, insisting the directors have "earned the right to express their opinions".

Scorsese's recent comment that superhero blockbusters are "not cinema" has sparked a fierce debate in filmmaking circles, with Coppola later weighing in and calling them "despicable".

Now, Favreau, who directed Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and starred as Happy Hogan in six different Marvel films, has weighed in on the controversy.

"These two guys are my heroes, and they have earned the right to express their opinions. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if they didn't carve the way," he said in an interview with CNBC. "They served as a source of inspiration, you can go all the way back to (1996 film) Swingers... They can express whatever opinion they like."

In response to Scorsese and Coppola's criticism, a host of Marvel alumni have also defended the movies, including stars like Robert Downey, Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman, and Sebastian Stan.

Elsewhere in the chat, Favreau spoke about how he avoids "superhero fatigue", as he is not only involved in Marvel movies but is also the executive producer of upcoming Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.

"There's a lot of forces at work here, as a filmmaker I see it from a different perspective, which is now for big movies with big budgets to help justify the theatregoing experience - going to a movie theatre and paying for that experience - you're delivering a much different product than you had been, even when I began 20 years ago," the 53-year-old shared. "You're selling to a global market, these are stories that the budget demands that they perform on a global scale.

"Two-thirds of most box office returns are coming from Non-North American markets, so it changes the calculus that studios have to consider when they're greenlighting a film. But on the flip side, you have this fluidity between platforms and so there are films that would have been studios releases that are now being done for streaming services. If you look at it from the perspective of what is available to the consumer, there is a much richer assortment and selection."

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