Robert Downey Jr. said he respects Martin Scorsese’s opinion as part of a broader outlook on Marvel movies after the director said the superhero films are “not cinema,” but admitted he didn’t think Scorsese’s take made any sense.
The “Iron Man” and “Avengers: Endgame” star talked to Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Monday, and questioned why Scorsese even felt the need to comment — and wondered what the Oscar-winning filmmaker meant by saying they’re not cinema.
“I appreciate his opinion because I think it’s like anything. We need all the different perspectives so we can come to center and move on,” Downey said. “It’d be like saying ‘Howard Stern isn’t radio.’ It makes no sense to say it.”
Stern wondered if Scorsese was genuinely upset or even jealous at the overwhelming box office success of Marvel movies, saying that Scorsese’s efforts to archive cinema show he has a certain idea of what movies should be. Downey Jr. said he loves that Scorsese has actually taken the time to archive the films of his father, Robert Downey Sr., but doesn’t really believe Scorsese is miffed.
“When you come in like a stomping beast and you eliminate the competition in such a demonstrative way, it’s phenomenal,” Downey Jr. said. “Do you actually think Martin Scorsese is upset about Marvel movies?”
Neither Stern nor Downey Jr. ever really got to the bottom of what they thought Scorsese actually meant when he compared the Marvel movies to “theme parks.”
“Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks,” Scorsese said in an interview with Empire magazine last week. “It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
Stern also wondered why the Academy Awards might turn their nose up at Downey Jr.’s performance as Tony Stark. Fans have even petitioned to get Disney to include Downey Jr. on their For Your Consideration campaign, but he said he actually discouraged Disney and Marvel from doing so.
“There was some talk about it, and I said, let’s not,” he said.
Check out the full video clip from Howard Stern above.
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