It seems that among a certain group of filmmakers, you cannot be a true “auteur” unless you join the Marvel hate train. Francis Ford Coppola — awarding winning director of 1972’s The Godfather — added his name to the distinguished list of Marvel haters back in 2019, but more recently he’s offered a bit of a caveat. There’s at least one Marvel movie he likes, and it’s one made with “maximum effort.” That’s right, Francis Ford Coppola is a fan of 2016’s Deadpool.
The Godfather director is receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today, close to the 50th anniversary of the beginning of his beloved and acclaimed mafia saga. Coppola spoke to Variety for the lead-up to the occasion and was asked about who he sees guiding the future of cinema. The director took the opportunity to single out Dune director Denis Villeneuve and No Time to Die‘s Cary Joji Fukunaga as filmmakers who he believes are “wonderful” but who he doesn’t think “necessarily get the chance to make the films in their hearts. I think they’re being asked to make movies that are not against the grain. We have an abundance of rich, great talent and I would give them more responsibility because they’re capable of it.” In order to not seem like he simply hated all big-budget films, Coppola added, “I liked Deadpool, I thought that was amazing.”
Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds was quick to answer the Godfather director’s praise. In response to Total Film tweeting about the quote, Reynolds posted a retweet and a perfectly Deadpool-esque answer. You can see his tweet below.
Francis Ford Coppola joined the “How Cool Should It Be To Hate Marvel” debate back in 2019 when he claimed his fellow mobster-milking colleague Martin Scorsese was being “kind” when he said Marvel movies weren’t cinema. Coppola said they not only weren’t cinema, but they were “despicable.” More recently, Coppola doubled down on those comments while speaking to GQ (via Variety), saying that Marvel movies are “one prototype movie that is made over and over and over and over and over again to look different.” Sage words from the maker of The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II and The Godfather: Part III.
Back in 2019, The Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn argued out that what Coppola was saying about Marvel movies at one point was being said about Westerns, gangster movies (like The Godfather), and so on. Gunn’s comments apparently did little to change Coppola’s mind, though maybe it helped him soften up enough to appreciate Wade Wilson’s bloodletting. It is good to know Coppol isn’t completely closed off to superhero cinema. Maybe if more Marvel films featured heroes cutting off their own limbs, they’d live up to the standards of the man who cast Keanu Reeves as a 19th century Englishman in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and forgot to ask him to use an accent.
Along with giving Deadpool a pass, the Godfather director told Variety he thinks there are other directors more deserving of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. During a break from presuming to speak for Denis Villeneuve and Cary Joji Fukunaga and any other number of directors who didn’t ask for his advocacy — or while he wasn’t going out of his way to pitch his own family as the future of cinema — he tapped George Lucas as a guy he would happily give his star to if he could. That’s right. The guy who hates formulaic, big budget films, gave a shout-out to the creator of Star Wars.