“Were you ever nominated for an Academy Award for ‘Iron Man’? Don’t you think that because it’s a superhero movie they turn their nose up?” Howard Stern asked Robert Downey Jr. on “The Howard Stern Show” when addressing Martin Scorsese‘s recent criticism that Marvel movies aren’t cinema. But it turns out that Downey turned down an awards campaign for what has become his signature role. Watch a clip of their convo above.
“There was some talk about it, and I said, ‘Let’s not,'” Downey told Stern. “I don’t know that it’s time or if I am the guy … to have the academy recognize.” Downey has received a number of fan-voted plaudits for his work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including MTV Movie and TV Awards and People’s Choice Awards, but no industry plaudits, though he does have previous Oscar nominations for his performances in “Chaplin” (1992) and “Tropic Thunder” (2008).
“I appreciate his opinion … We need all of the different perspectives so we can come to center and move on,” said Downey diplomatically about Scorsese’s assessment. But he added that the argument is “like saying Howard Stern isn’t radio. It makes no sense to say it … When you come in like a stomping beast [like the Marvel movies have] and you eliminate the competition in such a demonstrative way, it’s phenomenal.”
However, superhero movies are starting to get industry respect, even if not from Scorsese specifically. Last year “Black Panther” became the first comic book superhero movie to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture (it ended up winning three prizes below the line). And this year “Joker” could make Joaquin Phoenix the second actor to win for playing the title “Batman” villain, following Heath Ledger‘s posthumous prize for “The Dark Knight” (2008). Could Downey himself even be in the Oscar conversation for his swan song as Iron Man in “Avengers: Endgame“? Vote in our poll below to let us know if you think Downey deserves a nomination.
Be sure to make your Oscar nominee predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on January 13. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.