Adding his voice to the chorus of his peers who have similarly found themselves discontent with the current state of the Hollywood film industry, Francis Ford Coppola recently criticized how nearly every major studio release in recent times has believed it necessary to follow the ‘Marvel’ formula.
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The esteemed director and uncle of Nicolas Cage spoke to his thoughts on modern Hollywood during a recent interview given to GQ in honor of The Godfather’s 50th anniversary.
At one point in his conversation with senior staff writer Zach Baron, their discussion turned to Copola’s excitement at the then-upcoming release of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, as the veteran filmmaker revealed that he would be preempting a screening of the film at his local movie theater by speaking to the crowd beforehand in an attempt “to remind them of the thrill about going to a movie theater.”
“I want West Side Story to do incredible business, to remind people that the theater debut is much more important than the so-called streaming,” said Copola. “Streaming is just home video.”
Continuing on the subject, Coppola then lamented to Baron, “There used to be studio films. Now there are Marvel pictures.”
“And what is a Marvel picture?” he then asked, before explaining, “A Marvel picture is one prototype movie that is made over and over and over and over and over again to look different.”
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Coppola further noted that this was not just limited to the actual films produced by Marvel themselves, but other studio blockbusters as well, asserting, “Even the talented people—you could take Dune, made by Denis Villeneuve, an extremely talented, gifted artist, and you could take No Time to Die, directed by Cary Fukunaga—extremely gifted, talented, beautiful artists, and 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. “
“The same sequence where the cars all crash into each other,” he elaborated. “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.”
In conclusion to his thoughts on Marvel’s effect on Hollywood, Coppola told Baron, “I always tell my kids, like Sofia—‘Let your films be personal. 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.’”
“Whereas if you’re part of a school or ‘Yeah, I’m going to make a Marvel picture, and that’s the formula and I get it and I’ll do my best,’ sure it will still have your individuality, but as art, do that and do something else,” he said. “But if you’re going to make art, let it be personal. Let it be very personal to you.”
What do you make of Copolla’s thoughts on Marvel and Hollywood? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!
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