Nic Cage with a microphone

Nic Cage Is Right About the Marvel Movie vs. Directors Discourse

It’s been a new tradition: Some interviewer asks an iconic director about Marvel, they complain about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, outrage ensues online. We’ve seen it happen to Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Jane Campion, and more. The reality is just that we should simply stop asking these questions! Something that Nic Cage agrees with me on.

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In an incredible profile for GQ, Cage got into the conversation over whether or not the MCU and superhero movies as a whole are “cinema” and his uncle’s (Franchis Ford Coppola) and Martin Scorsese’s thoughts on the genre. Cage simply said, “Yeah, why do they do that? I don’t understand the conflict. I don’t agree with them on that perception or opinion.”

He went on to talk about the argument that Marvel movies are somehow ruining the indie film industry. “I think that the movies that I make, like Pig or Joe, are not in any kind of conflict with Marvel movies. I mean, I don’t think the Marvel movie had anything to do with the end of the tweener,” Cage said. “By tweener, I mean the $30 to $50 million budget movie. I think movies are in good shape. If you look at Power of the Dog, or if you look at Spencer, or any of Megan Ellison’s movies. I think that there’s still Paul Thomas Anderson.”

Bringing up Paul Thomas Anderson is a fascinating choice because PTA famously loves superhero movies and is currently nominated for Best Director for his film Licorice Pizza. But, as Cage said, there isn’t a real competition between those “indie” or “tweener” movies and the MCU/superhero genre at large.

What Marvel gave us

Cage is no stranger to Marvel movies. He played Johnny Blaze in the Ghost Rider movies and was, for a while, the only version of the character we had in live action. That has since changed, but Cage’s performance is still a staple for fans of the comic character, and it’s clear that the actor also knows what Marvel has given families.

“Marvel has done a really excellent job of entertaining the whole family,” he said. “They put a lot of thought into it. I mean, it’s definitely had a big progression from when I was doing the first two Ghost Rider movies. Kevin Feige, or whoever is behind that machine, has found a masterful way of weaving the stories together and interconnecting all the characters.”

But more than anything, Cage is just confused as to why this is a big deal anyway. “What could be wrong with wholesome entertainment that is appealing to the parents and the children, and gives people something to look forward to? I just, I don’t see what the issue is.”

And he’s right. I beg everyone to stop asking directors about Marvel movies and the state of Hollywood. It’s pointless, and asking it just results in everyone getting angry over someone’s opinion that had nothing to do with their body of work.

(image: Rich Fury/Getty Images for SXSW)


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Author
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.