It seems like the moment legendary directors Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola started to speak up about their alleged disapproval of the superhero genre of films, there was almost instantaneously a bunch of responses that were ready to counter those feelings. And yet, when it came time for director Jon Favreau to throw his hat in the ring, he did something pretty amazing: he accepted them as par for the course.
During an interview to promote The Mandalorian for Disney+, Favreau expressed these thoughts on the opinions of Scorsese and Coppola:
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. They served as a source of inspiration, you can go all the way back to Swingers. They can express whatever opinion they like.
In a refreshing turn of events, Jon Favreau has taken the supposed displeasure of a genre he’s helped craft into its current fighting form, and honored those comments as merely the opinions of the people that inspired him in the first place. It’s an amazingly classy move, because instead of treating these thoughts as controversial, Favreau values the place that such opinions have in a proper discourse over cinema.
This isn’t to say the disappointment that fellow comic director James Gunn has felt about Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola’s remarks is invalid. Rather, Favreau’s view on those same opinions applies to Gunn’s thoughts as well. Everyone in this conversation has valid thoughts, and while they vary, they all have a position that various stripes of moviegoers can decide to agree with on their own terms.
In his interview with CNBC, Jon Favreau took the comments that have been seen as attacks on comic book movies like Avengers: Endgame, or even Favreau’s own work on Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and turned them into simple commentary rather than the invective they could be interpreted as. Even in the face of Francis Ford Coppola ostensibly calling Marvel and DC films “despicable”, as well as his own battles with the MCU brass, the man honors how he drew inspiration from their great works, and just goes on with his work.
Favreau’s work on the Marvel’s Cinematic Universe's Phase 1 could be seen as something on par with Martin Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola’s efforts as young filmmakers that redefined the cinematic landscape of the day. And surely, there were those who thought that the men behind Taxi Driver and Apocalypse Now were totally out of their heads with the stories they were telling at that time.
But that certainly didn’t stop either of them from moving forward, and it’s sure as hell not going to stop Jon Favreau for bringing his blockbuster style talents to new and exciting stories in gigantic universes built on pre-existing IP.
You can catch Jon Favreau in both Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, once again playing the role of Happy Hogan, on Digital HD, 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD. Also, if you’re looking forward to The Mandalorian, you’ll be able to see what the fuss is all about when it debuts on Disney+ when the platform opens its doors on November 12.