Jon Favreau, the director of Marvel's Iron Man and Iron Man 2, says that directors like Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola should be free to criticize Marvel and superhero movies.
"These two guys are my heroes, and they have earned the right to express their opinions,” Favreau told CNBC in an interview Tuesday morning. “I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if they didn’t carve the way. They served as a source of inspiration, you can go all the way back to Swingers.... They can express whatever opinion they like.”
Over the past few weeks, Scorsese has heaped criticism on Marvel and so-called theme park movies, saying that they are “not cinema.” Director Francis Ford Coppola followed suit this week by telling the press "Martin was kind when he said it's not cinema. He didn't say it's despicable, which I just say it is."
In the CNBC interview Favreau also discussed the rapidly changing entertainment landscape, which he says is creating “a great deal of uncertainty” but also “a lot of opportunity.”
As an example, he used Scorsese’s The Irishman.
“You see Scorsese with The Irishman, I don’t know that that would have been possible, with that budget level, and the technology required to tell that story, in a more traditional model,” Favreau said.
Update: Later on Tuesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger weighed in from the Wall Street Journal Tech Live conference, in an interview that was streamed, saying that Scorsese and Coppola's comments were" so disrespectful."
"If they want to bitch about movies, it is certainly their right," Iger said. "It seems so disrespectful to all the people that work on those films, who are working just as hard as the people working on their films, and are putting their creative souls on the line, just like they are."
"You tell me Ryan Coogler making Black Panther is somehow doing something less than Marty Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola have ever done on any of their movies? Come on," he added.