Disney CEO Bob Iger has some questions for director Martin Scorsese.
In a recent interview with BBC Radio, the entertainment mogul challenged the “Irishman” filmmaker‘s highly publicized critique of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which he argued “isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
“I think I would debate him on the subject,” Iger said in response to Scorsese’s criticism, which has since been echoed by contemporaries such as “The Godfather” director Francis Ford Coppola. “First of all, Marvel’s making movies. They’re movies — that’s what Martin Scorsese makes. And they’re good movies with good directors and good writers and good actors and good cinematographers and good costume designers and good sound engineers and good editors — I could go on and on.
“These are talented, talented people that are putting their hard work and talent into making films that entertain people in theaters around the world,” he continued. “Everybody goes. The lights go down. People buy popcorn. They have a good two-hour experience. They come out feeling happier or better about themselves.”
Though Iger divulged he hasn’t “had a relationship” with Scorsese, he expressed an interest in meeting him and clarified his admiration and respect for the veteran auteur, listing a few of his favorite Scorsese creations, including “Goodfellas” and “Taxi Driver.”
“I don’t think he’s ever seen a Marvel film,” Iger said. “I would question that. Anyone who’s seen a Marvel film could not, in all truth, make that statement. ... I’m looking forward to talking to him. I’d like to have a glass of wine with him. I like Martin Scorsese. He’s a talented man.”
Iger also weighed in on Disney’s controversial handling of another beloved and lucrative brand: “Star Wars.” In the last four years, the studio has distributed four, going on five, big-screen efforts based on George Lucas’ original sci-fi epic, including the new trilogy starring Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, as well as standalone projects “Rogue One” and “Solo.”
“I have said publicly that I think we made and released too many ‘Star Wars’ films over a short period of time,” Iger said. “I have not said that they were disappointing in any way. I have not said that I’m disappointed in the performance. I just think that there’s something so special about a ‘Star Wars’ film and less is more.”
Despite his minimalist sentiment, Disney does have multiple “Star Wars” installments in the works, slated for release on the brand’s new streaming service, Disney+. “The Mandalorian,” a spinoff series starring Pedro Pascal, is scheduled to debut at the platform’s launch on Nov. 12, while another show centering on Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi is expected at a later date.
The status of the franchise’s cinematic future is unclear, however, following a sudden exit from “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Disney had previously tapped the pair to helm the canon’s next trilogy ushering in the post-Skywalker era, which ends with “The Rise of Skywalker” in December. According to the studio’s official release schedule, three more “Star Wars” films are projected to hit theaters in 2022, 2024 and 2026.