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Benedict Cumberbatch weighs in on superhero movie row

  • Published at 09:21 pm October 25th, 2019
Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch Collected

Although the Doctor Strange actor stopped short of criticizing the superhero film genre, Cumberbatch stressed the need to support auteur film-makers in order to prevent a “monopoly” in the film industry

Celebrated actor and Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) veteran Benedict Cumberbatch has weighed in on the ongoing superhero film franchise row and leant some unexpected support to auteur film-makers.

Although the Doctor Strange actor stopped short of criticizing the superhero film genre, Cumberbatch stressed the need to support auteur film-makers in order to prevent a “monopoly” in the film industry.

During a radio interview on “The Jenny McCarthy Show” on Tuesday, Cumberbatch said: “I know there has been a lot of debate recently with these very fine film-makers coming to the fore saying that these film franchises are taking over everything … And I agree, you know. We don’t want one king to rule it all and have a kind of monopoly.

“We should really look into continuing to support auteur film-makers at every level," he added.

The debate surrounding the MCU franchise began when legendary film-maker Martin Scorsese said in a magazine interview that Marvel films are “not cinema” and more like “theme parks.” Scorsese’s long-time friend and fellow film-maker Francis Ford Coppola was quick to join in the debate, calling superhero films “despicable."

Several other auteur film-makers have also voiced criticism of the MCU franchise. Ken Loach called the films “boring” and “a cynical exercise [that] has nothing to do with the art of cinema." Pedro Almodóvar criticized the franchise for not exploring human sexuality.

However, "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn and "The Avengers" director Joss Whedon have defended the genre, with the former writing on social media that “superheroes are simply today’s gangsters/cowboys/outer space adventurers.” 

Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of Marvel owner Disney, also defended the MCU franchise saying: “I don’t get what [Coppola and Scorsese] are criticizing us for, when we are making films that people are obviously enjoying going to and they are doing so by the millions. 

"If they want to b**** about movies, it is certainly their right,” he added.

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