Robert Downey Jr. Defends the MCU Against Martin Scorsese’s “That’s Not Cinema” Slam

     October 8, 2019

Recently, solitary Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese made some controversial comments about the MCU (which currently has three Oscar wins, for those keeping score at home). Those comments boiled down to admitting that he doesn’t see Marvel movies in the first place because he doesn’t consider them cinema; he likens them to theme parks instead. He went on to say that Marvel movies and the like just weren’t cinematic examples of humans trying to communicate with each other. For comparison, mavens from the traditional book publishing industry had (and, to a lesser extent, still have) a similar opinion about hoity toity literature vs pulp fiction and comics. Everybody’s got opinions, man.

Unsurprisingly, the MCU’s standouts have responded. James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy franchise) was “saddened” by Scorsese’s comments and took the filmmaker to task for apparent hypocrisy, though it wasn’t Gunn’s best writing (though certainly not his worst tweet). Then Samuel L. Jackson got into the mix, though he left his best Nick Fury one-liners behind to simply say that, “Films are films. Everybody doesn’t like his stuff either. Everybody’s got an opinion, so I mean it’s okay.” Now, MCU poster boy and franchise hero Robert Downey Jr. is putting his two cents in.

Here’s the clip in question from Downey Jr.’s time on the Stern Show:

Actor Robert Downey Jr. defends his “Iron Man” and “Avengers” movies after director Martin Scorsese calls Marvel films “not cinema.”

Additionally, Stern asks Downey Jr. if he was ever nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Iron Man. Here’s RDJ’s response:

“No … Well I’m so glad you brought this up because there was some talk about it and I said, ‘Let’s not.’ Because I’m much more like you than you’d want to believe.”

RDJ trails off on his own tributary about Stern’s tendency to do the same here and the clip ends before he completes his thought. Be sure to tune in for the full episode to hear his explanation on why he opted to pass on an Oscars campaign.

It’s unclear whether RDJ was talking about the original Iron Man, any of the films since then, or the character’s story capper, Avengers: Endgame. Our own Adam Chitwood wrote up the recent Oscars campaign push for the massive Marvel movie and saw the absence of a Best Actor nod for Downey Jr. as a misstep. Disney/Marvel is vying for some big prizes at the 2020 awards show, but none of them are for individual acting performances. We’ll find out which Oscars the movie will undoubtedly take home on February 9, 2020.

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