AceShowbiz - Robert Downey Jr. has spoken up on the most recent attack at Marvel Cinematic Universe by a respectable filmmaker. In an interview with Deadline about the Netflix documentary about his father Robert Downey Sr., the "Iron Man" actor fought back at Quentin Tarantino's claims that Marvel actors "are not movie stars."
"I think our opinions on these matters say a lot about us. I think that we are in a time and place that I unwittingly contributed to, where IP has taken precedence over principle and personality. But it's a double-edged sword," he argued. "A piece of IP is only as good as the human talent you get to represent it, and you can have some great IP even if it's coming from an auteur or a national treasure of a writer-director, and if you don't have the right kind of artist playing that role, you'll never know how good it could have been."
Instead of attacking one another, RDJ believes that all genres of films should co-exist together. "I think that creatively it is a waste of time to be at war with ourselves. I think this is a time when everything is so much more fragmented now that I think you have this kind of bifurcation," he elaborated. "Throwing stones one way or another ... and I've had my reactions in the past when people said things that I felt were discrediting my integrity ... I go, 'You know what? Let's just get over it. We're all a community. There's enough room for everything,' and thank God for 'Top Gun: Maverick' and 'Avatar: The Way of Water'. That's all I have to say. We need the big stuff to make room for films like 'Armageddon Time'."
The 57-year-old further stressed that things evolved over time and one must embrace the change. "I'm not talking about trickle-down entertainment. I'm just saying that things are always changing...," he said. "So, I would just say, before we cast aspersions on each other - undergo your own renaissance and see if it doesn't change your mind a little bit."
"Reinvent yourself before you decide that somebody else doesn't know what they're doing or that something is keeping you from doing your best, or that something is better than something else," he further urged, before borrowing words from his former Marvel colleague, "You know, we're in this age now where [Jon Favreau] said it best: We used to try to make waves in a lake, and now we're just trying to catch people's attention as things are moving by quickly in a stream. I think that'll change again, but this is just where we’re at. And to accept it and be grateful that you get to participate is the right place to start."
During the same interview, RDJ was asked what he misses the most about being the center of the Marvel Universe. He responded, "What I miss most? Being in the trenches with Kevin Feige throughout; the beginning with Jon Favreau, it's like a beautiful dream now; the middle, with Shane Black on 'Iron Man 3', we'd just had Exton and shot it mostly in Wilmington, NC," Downey said. "It was idyllic and subversive. And 'The End', when I realized I'd made so many close friends in the MCU cast, and the Russo Brothers helping me embrace Tony's arc."
Tarantino criticized the Marvelisation of Hollywood during his appearance on "2 Bears, 1 Cave" podcast last month. "You have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters," he said. "But they're not movie stars. Right? Captain America is the star. Or Thor is the star. I mean, I'm not the first person to say that. I think that's been said a zillion times … but it's like, you know, it's these franchise characters that become a star."
Simu Liu was the first MCU star who reacted to Tarantino's claims. Clapping back at the filmmaker as well as Martin Scorsese, who has previously expressed his dislike at superhero films, he tweeted, "If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to lead a $400 million plus movie." The 33-year-old hunk noted, "I am in awe of their filmmaking genius. They are transcendent auteurs. But they don't get to point their nose at me or anyone."
Samuel L. Jackson then weighed in on it during his appearance on "The View". Pushing back on his pal and frequent collaborator's criticism, he said, "It takes an actor to be those particular characters, and the sign of movie stardom has always been, what, asses in seats? What are we talking about?" The 73-year-old added, "That's not a big controversy for me to know that apparently these actors are movie stars. Chadwick Boseman is Black Panther. You can't refute that, and he's a movie star."