Iconic director Martin Scorsese has been a hotpoint of controversy ever since he declared that Marvel movies weren’t “cinema” in an interview from early October, although at this point it feels like 500 years ago. Virtually everyone on the internet and in Hollywood chimed in with their opinion on Scorsese’s comment, including Disney CEO Bob Iger, who doubted whether the director had ever actually seen a Marvel movie and suggested that the two of them could debate the validity of Marvel films over a glass of wine.
Scorsese’s comment was largely taken out of context. “The closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks,” he said in an interview with Empire. “It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.” He further elaborated his opinion in an op-ed for The New York Times, in which he pointed out that mega-budget blockbusters like the kinds put out by Disney (which includes Marvel and Star Wars) have made it virtually impossible for anything less than a major studio tentpole to get theater space. He blasted Hollywood’s current near-total reliance on blockbuster franchises as “brutal and inhospitable to art.”
Well, Iger is apparently looking to make good on that wine glass debate. The Disney CEO was recently named businessperson of the year by Time, and after calling Scorsese’s comments “nasty” and “not fair to the people who are making the movies,” he told the magazine that his team was currently working with Scorsese’s team to arrange a meeting.
It is unclear what on Earth the meeting could possibly be about, since the disagreement between Scorsese and Iger is on a fundamental level. (Scorsese is an auteur filmmaker, Iger is a businessman who served on an advisory council for President Donald Trump and recently said of climate change “People will not go to theme parks if they can’t breathe the air. So I took a position on that with great conviction, because of what it meant for Disney.”) That said, hopefully Scorsese has seen enough Martin Scorsese films to know that he shouldn’t let Iger walk behind him at any point, or let Iger’s staff suddenly change the meeting’s location to an empty house on the other side of town. Or maybe Scorsese will walk out of that meeting having agreed to direct the next Avengers movie.