Nicolas Cage Feels No Need to Join Marvel

The 'Ghost Rider' actor insists he 'doesn't need' to be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe while doubling down on his defense of the superhero franchise amid criticisms.

AceShowbiz - Nicolas Cage has said he "doesn't need" to be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The 59-year-old star - who was born Nicolas Coppola and is the nephew of "The Godfather" director Francis Ford Coppola - explains he needs to be "nice" about the MCU because he got his name from Stan Lee's comic book character Luke Cage.

"I've gotta be nice about Marvel movies, because I named myself after a Stan Lee character named Luke Cage. What am I going to do, put Marvel movies down?" he said at the Variety Legend and Groundbreaker Award at Miami Film Festival.

"Stan Lee is my surrealistic father. He named me. I understand what the frustration is. I get it. But I think there's plenty of room for everybody. I'm seeing movies like 'Tar.' I'm seeing all kinds of artistic and independently driven movies. I think there's plenty of room for everybody."

Asked if he wants to be part of the MCU, he said, "I don't need to be in the MCU, I'm Nic Cage."

Last year, Cage admitted he would love to be in Marvel movie "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness". The "Ghost Rider" actor responded to speculation he could reprise the role of Johnny Blaze and his superhero alter ego - who he played in the 2006 movie and its 2011 sequel "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" - in the Marvel blockbuster.

He said, "Oh, I don't think so. I don't think they're casting me. 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."

Cage also made it clear he doesn't agree with his uncle Coppola or filmmaker Martin Scorsese when it comes to the MCU. Coppola previously backed Scorsese's critique of comic book films and their impact on the film industry, insisting it's "despicable" that Hollywood values money over art.

He argued, "There used to be studio films. 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."

However, Cage has defended the big budget blockbusters and insisted there is no "conflict" between different genres of cinema. He added, "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. By tweener, I mean the $30 to $50 million budget movie. I think movies are in good shape."

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