Francis Ford Coppola offered up his opinion on modern blockbusters (namely Dune and No Time To Die) and Marvel movies in a new profile published in GQ—and he didn’t mince his words about just how unimpressed he is with the current state of Hollywood.
“There used to be studio films,” the director told GQ writer Zach Baron. “Now there are Marvel pictures. And what is a Marvel picture? A Marvel picture is one prototype movie that is made over and over and over and over and over again to look different.”
Coppola continued, speaking on critically acclaimed blockbusters Dune and No Time To Die, “Even the talented people—you could take Dune, made by Denis Villeneuve, an extremely talented, gifted artist, and you could take No Time to Die, directed by [Cary Fukunaga]—extremely gifted, talented, beautiful artists, and you could take both those movies, and you and I could go and pull the same sequence out of both of them and put them together. The same sequence where the cars all crash into each other. They all have that stuff in it, and they almost have to have it, if they’re going to justify their budget. And that’s the good films and the talented filmmakers.”
Is it reductive? Maybe. Is there truth to his statements? Absolutely. But you know who gets to have an opinion on the modern age of Hollywood: Francis Ford Coppola who has been disappointed with Hollywood longer than Tom Holland has been alive.
Digging into the rest of the enlightening profile, readers who are new to Coppola’s tale will learn how a one-time bedridden kid from New York (Coppola was isolated with polio) grew up to influence decades of cinema with 1972’s The Godfather…and how the ghost of that film still haunts him.
The profile also discusses how despite that film’s critical and financial success, Coppola had to finance his follow-up, Apocalypse Now, himself because no studio would touch it. Coppola also helped bankroll the new Hollywood of the ‘70s—George Lucas, Walter Murch, John Milius—with his Zoetrope Studios, and he continues to this day to finance his passion projects like Megalopolis, a film the director has been trying to make for over 40 years.
Coppola simply pines for an era of more personal filmmaking. He says, “I always tell my kids, like Sofia— ‘Let your films be personal” Coppola explains. “Always make it as personal as you can because you are a miracle, that you’re even alive. Then your art will be a miracle because it reflects stuff from someone who there is no other one like that…if you’re going to make art, let it be personal. Let it be very personal to you.”