'Doctor Strange' star Benedict Cumberbatch is pretty cool with Martin Scorsese slating Marvel

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Benedict Cumberbatch (Credit: Jason Mendez/Invision/AP)

Benedict Cumberbatch is the latest star to offer his two cents on Marvelgate, after directors Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola slated the franchise as 'not cinema' and 'despicable'.

But while some have mounted an outraged defence, the Brit star, who plays dimension bending former neurosurgeon Dr Steven Strange in the MCU, seems pretty cool with it.

Read more: Martin Scorsese doubles down on Marvel comments

Appearing on the Jenny McCarthy Show on SiriusXM, Cumberbatch said that there isn't 'one king to rule them all'.

“I know there's been a lot of debate recently with some very fine filmmakers coming to the fore saying these film franchises are taking over everything,” he said.

“But, lucky us actors who get to do both kinds of variety, at either polarity of budgeting.

Doctor Strange (Credit: Marvel/Disney)

“I agree, we don't want one king to rule it all and have a monopoly and all that, and it's hopefully not the case and we should really look into continuing to support auteur filmmakers at every level.”

Goodfellas director Scorsese took the opportunity to compare the Marvel series to 'theme parks' while delivering the annual David Lean lecture for BAFTA in London earlier this month, and called for cinemas to 'step up' in showing more 'narrative films'.

Read more: Samuel L Jackson on Scorsese’s Marvel comments

This followed comments he made to Empire magazine in which he branded the movies 'not cinema'.

His friend and contemporary Francis Ford Coppola then went one step further, telling press at a film festival in Lyon that he considered the films 'despicable'.

Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney hit back earlier this week.

Martin Scorsese (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Speaking at the Wall Street Journal's Tech Live conference, he said: “It doesn’t bother me, except I’m bothered on behalf of the people who work on those movies.

“Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese are two people I hold in the highest regard in terms of the films that they’ve made, the films I’ve liked, the films we’ve all watched. But when Francis uses the word ‘despicable?’ I reserve the word ‘despicable’ for someone who committed mass murder. These are movies! To whom is he talking?

“Is he talking to Kevin Feige, who runs Marvel? Or Taika Waititi who directs, or Ryan Coogler, who directs for us? Or Scarlett Johansson or Chad Boseman? I could name a number of people – Robert Downey Jr.?”

Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of Walt Disney (Credit: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

He went on: “I think I’ve sounded a little more defensive than I wanted to be, because I don’t really feel the need to defend what we’re doing. We are in the business of – first of all, we’re in the business of making money, we’re a profitable business.

“At the same time at Disney, we try to balance that with telling great stories to the world and infusing them with great values and supporting a employee based of well over 200,000 people around the world with great care, and frankly, respect. So I just don’t – I’m puzzled by it. If they want to bitch about movies, it’s certainly their right.

“You’re telling me Ryan Coogler making Black Panther is doing something that is somehow or another less than what Marty Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola have ever done on any one of their movies? Like, come on. Yeah, I said it.”