James Gunn may oversee the Guardians of the Galaxy films, but now he’s also becoming somewhat of a guardian of superhero films at large.

The director shared a post on his Instagram on Sunday, speaking directly to Francis Ford Coppola’s remarks calling Marvel films “despicable.” Gunn reminded his followers that every genre and art form has faced its detractors in past eras, specifically referencing the genre most associated with Coppola — the gangster film.

'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2' Gala, Arrivals, London, UK - 24 Apr 2017
Credit: Joanne Davidson/REX/Shutterstock

“Many of our grandfathers thought all gangster movies were the same, often calling them ‘despicable.’ Some of our great grandfathers thought the same of westerns, and believed the films of John Ford, Sam Peckinpah, and Sergio Leone were all exactly the same,” Gunn wrote. “I remember a great uncle to whom I was raving about Star Wars. He responded by saying, ‘I saw that when it was called 2001, and, boy, was it boring!’ Superheroes are simply today’s gangsters/cowboys/outer space adventurers. Some superhero films are awful, some are beautiful. Like westerns and gangster movies (and before that, just MOVIES), not everyone will be able to appreciate them, even some geniuses. And that’s okay. ❤️”

Coppola’s remarks were in response to those made previously by another auteur who came to prominence in the same era, Martin Scorsese. Scorsese ignited a firestorm that is still raging, as evidenced by this ongoing conversation amongst filmmakers, when he reflected that he didn’t consider Marvel films to be “cinema” earlier this month.

Many in the entertainment industry have weighed in since with directors like Joss Whedon, who helmed the first two Avengers films, defending the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Gunn previously addressed Scorsese’s remarks on Twitter, writing, “I’m not fond of people judging things without actually seeing them, whether it’s a movie about Jesus or a genre.”

Now the filmmaker has furthered that point, speaking to how popular culture of any era is often dismissed by tastemakers who have been widely lauded as artists. Gunn shared his remarks alongside a photo of two of the most beloved characters from her Guardians of the Galaxy films, Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel), but we’re pretty sure we know what Groot would have to say on the matter.

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