Ethan Hawke Says Marvel May Not Be Friendly Towards Directors

Well that doesn't sound good.

By Douglas Helm | Published

Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke has been in the Hollywood game for a long time, so he definitely has some good perspective on the state of the industry. An interesting recent choice Hawke made was joining the MCU juggernaut, despite some mildly critical comments about the comic book medium in the past. Apparently, though, Hawke feels like Marvel is very actor-friendly, though they may not allow as much creative freedom for directors. In an interview with IndieWire, Hawke said “That group of people [at Marvel] is extremely actor-friendly. They might not be director-friendly, and that could be what Scorsese and Coppola are talking about. But they love actors.”

Of course, when Ethan Hawke mentioned Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola in his comment, he’s referring to the acclaimed directors’ comments about superhero movies and their popularity. Where Scorsese went a little lighter, referring to the movies as “not cinema” and comparing them to “theme parks,” Coppola went a little harsher, saying “I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again. Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.” Clearly, Hawke doesn’t have quite the same point of view, but he does admit in the interview that “If you keep reviewing these movies that are basically made for 14-year-olds like they’re Fanny and Alexander or Winter Light, then who the hell’s going to get to make Winter Light?”

Obviously, Ethan Hawke isn’t opposed to the medium as a whole, especially considering he appeared in Moon Knight as the cult leader Arthur Harrow. With that being said, Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke both signed on to Moon Knight because they knew it would be something a little different from the typical MCU fare and that it would tell its own story that wasn’t necessarily hyper-connected to the rest of the Marvel films. Hawke also mentions in the interview that he isn’t interested in long-term commitments, so it’s likely that we won’t see too much more of the actor in the superhero franchise realm.

Ethan Hawke’s comments about Marvel not giving directors a ton of creative control may have some truth to them. There are certainly some MCU movies where the creative signature of the director shines through, like the MCU movies directed by James Gunn, Taika Waititi, and Sam Raimi. However, there are quite a few MCU movies that feel like they could have been directed by anyone. There have also been multiple instances of directors leaving MCU projects over creative differences, with Edgar Wright, Ava DuVernay, and Scott Derrickson being some notable examples. The MCU certainly likes to maintain a certain level of creative control to ensure their movies connect, both on a story and visual level, so it’s not surprising that directors with strong visions have butt heads with the studio every once in a while.

Whether you like the MCU or not, there’s no way that the movies and series are slowing down anytime soon. Thor: Love and Thunder, the latest MCU movie from Taika Waititi, is doing the typical blockbuster numbers at the box office. The MCU also has plenty more loaded up for the near future, with the She-Hulk series hitting Disney+ in August, the Black Panther sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hitting theaters in November, and one of the last James Gunn MCU projects The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special hitting Disney+ sometime around the holidays. Supposedly, the Samuel L. Jackson-led Secret Invasion will be hitting Disney+ in 2022 as well. While you wait for the upcoming MCU projects, it’s definitely worth checking out Ethan Hawke in what seems to be his last MCU appearance. You can stream all of Moon Knight on Disney+.