Marvel is making a major awards season push for Avengers: Endgame in nearly every major category this year. That's why it came as a surprise to many that Disney and Marvel Studios aren't campaigning to get Robert Downey Jr. a Best Actor nomination for his work as Tony Stark/Iron Man. As it turns out, Downey simply declined to campaign for an Oscar.
The reveal came during a recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show. At one point, the discussion turned to Martin Scorsese's recent comments regarding Marvel movies, suggesting they're theme park rides and not cinema. Stern said he feels many in the industry, including Scorsese, simply don't like those movies, which may be why Robert Downey Jr. was never nominated for his work as Iron Man in the MCU. Robert Downey Jr. had this to say in response.
"I'm so glad you brought this up because there was some talk about it, and I said 'let's not' and because I'm much more like you than you might really want to believe. I listen to the show and I agree with most all of your opinions, varied though they may be. Occasionally, you'll go on some tributary trail of thought [and] I'll go like, 'Oh that's not how I see it, but I love that you see it that way.'"
For as many in Hollywood that may feel Marvel movies aren't awards-worthy cinema, there are countless others who feel Avengers: Endgame, and specifically Robert Downey Jr.'s performance in the movie, much like Captain America when it comes to wielding Thor's hammer, is truly worthy. Certain fans even started an online campaign to get Downey the Oscar nomination. Downey, speaking further, explained that he simply never expected the MCU to get to become what it did.
I'll tell you the truth. I didn't expect [the Marvel Cinematic Universe] to become what it became, and it is this very large, multi-headed Hydra at this point."
In all likelihood, Avengers: Endgame will likely land at least a few nominations and could easily score a Best Picture nod at the Oscars. It's now the highest-grossing movie of all time and was embraced by critics and audiences alike. And let's not forget, James Cameron's Avatar, similarly, was a massive, sci-fi blockbuster that, at the time, became the biggest movie ever, and found its way to a stack of Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Plus, Black Panther broke the Oscars curse for Marvel last year.
To that same point, let's not forget that Robert Downey Jr. was previously nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for his work in Tropic Thunder. If Downey can earn a nomination for Kirk Lazarus, surely he can earn one for Tony Stark? But Downey simply seems content to move on from the MCU at this point altogether. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.