Superhero movies have come to make a few enemies in the world’s more sophisticated cinephiles, but Nicolas Cage doesn’t mind the big-budget flicks. In a recent interview, the actor defended Marvel’s industry domination from vocal critics like Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, saying, “I don’t see what the issue is.”
Back in 2019, Scorsese proclaimed that Marvel movies were more like theme parks than cinema, while this year, Coppola — Cage’s uncle, for those unaware — described the franchise’s films as “one prototype movie that is made over and over and over and over and over again to look different.” When GQ asked Cage to comment on these theories, he didn’t understand the beef.
“Yeah, why do they do that?” Cage said. “I don’t understand the conflict. I don’t agree with them on that perception or opinion.”
While the the legendary directors’ main Marvel complaint was that their family friendly, action movie simplicity left no room for smaller cerebral films, Cage — no stranger to the indie film himself — doesn’t appear as threatened as Scorsese and Coppola.
“I think that the movies that I make, like Pig or Joe, are not in any kind of conflict with Marvel movies,” he said. “I mean, I don’t think the Marvel movie had anything to do with the end of the tweener. 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.”
Cage continued by pointing out how comic book movies have become more sophisticated in the past decade:
“Marvel has done a really excellent job of entertaining the whole family. 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. 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.”
That’s a pretty humble perspective from the man who thinks being called an “actor” downplays his thespian art.
Cage most recently appeared in the über-meta The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, but he’s not opposed to rejoining the superhero universe. The Ghost Rider star recently revealed that he’d like to join The Batman franchise as Egghead, and he told GQ he’d be down to reprise the aflame skeleton for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Don’t hold your breath on the last one, though.
“Oh, I don’t think so. I don’t think they’re casting me,” Cage said. “I mean, I would do it. It would be fun. I’d love to work with Cumberbatch, but I don’t think that’s happening.”