Nicolas Cage shared his thoughts on the hate superhero movies have received from esteemed directors like Martin Scorcese and Roland Emmerich.
“These are hot topics, and I get it because these are the types of things that become like wildfire on the internet,” Cage told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve always admired the realm of the comic book and I’ve always thought stories were really colorful and entertaining and, frankly, kind of wholesome in a really positive way. I don’t know what the umbrage is with people that want to knock them. I certainly think there’s great value in that they’re bringing happiness to people.”
A number of critically-acclaimed filmmakers have spoken out against the rise of superhero cinema and how Marvel in particular dominates the box office. Chief among these are Taxi Driver and Gangs of New York director Scorcese, who in 2019 called Marvel movies the equivalent of “theme parks.” The revered filmmaker went on to emphasize that they aren’t “the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
Emmerich, who worked on epics like Independence Day and Stargate, is another major voice taking aim not only at the Marvel Cinematic Universe but also at DC’s films and the Star Wars franchise. The director said that all three franchises were “ruining our industry a little bit because nobody does anything original anymore.”
“How many superhero movies can you make?” Emmerich continued later that month, “They’re making like, 7 or 8 Spider-Man [films]? It’s just very boring for me, as a filmmaker. You don’t want to keep making the same movies over and over.”Other notable directors to express disdain for comic book cinema include Ridley Scott, Francis Ford Coppola, Jane Campion, and Alejandro G. Iñárritu — who ironically directed Birdman, a 2014 film starring Michael Keaton as a washed-up superhero actor.
Cage was meant to star as the Man of Steel in the canceled 1998 film Superman Lives. He would go on to play the titular character in the 2007 and 2011 films Ghost Rider and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Both films received largely negative reviews and in 2013 Cage said that he was unlikely to ever revisit the character. In recent years, Cage has stepped away from big-budget blockbusters altogether in favor of quieter dramas and independent cinema — like 2021’s Pig, where Cage plays a broken man searching for the kidnappers of his beloved truffle pig.
Cage’s latest film is the self-aware comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, which features the actor playing a fictionalized version of himself. The movie is slated to launch on April 22