Should Robert Downey Jr. be considered for an Oscar for his work in Avengers: Endgame? The directors of the movie certainly seem to think so. Joe Russo and Anthony Russo have now worked with the man behind Iron Man in three movies, which also includes Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War. So they have a pretty good idea of what he's capable of as an actor. They're convinced he's worthy of an Academy Award for his work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the last 11 years.
The Russo brothers have been very busy promoting Avengers: Endgame over the course of the last month or so. During a recent interview, the subject of Robert Downey Jr.'s sheer acting talent and what he brought to the role of Tony Stark, starting with the original Iron Man in 2008. Because of all he's done, not just on screen but for pop culture in general, Joe Russo believes he's earned some love from the Academy. Here's what the filmmaker had to say about it.
"His cumulative body of work from these movies is staggering. If you look at the work over just even the last four [Marvel] films he's done, it's phenomenal. . . . He deserves an Oscar perhaps more than anyone in the last 40 years because of the way that he has motivated popular culture."
It's certainly an interesting argument. It's hard to deny the cultural influence of the MCU at this point, considering the movies have grossed more than $20 billion combined at the global box office. Much of that has to do with Robert Downey Jr., who has been the face of these movies since the very beginning. And, while it's not the kind of thing the Academy historically goes for, the actor has done great work over the years as the character. Avengers: Endgame is no exception.
To that point, the filmmakers also expressed some frustration over how the Academy Awards look at popular movies in general. Sure, Marvel garnered seven Oscar nominations for Black Panther earlier this year, but that's more the exception as opposed to the rule. Here's what Joe Russo had to say about it.
"I go back and look at past Oscar winners like 'Ben-Hur,' 'West Side Story,' 'Lawrence of Arabia,' 'My Fair Lady,' 'The Sound of Music,' 'The Godfather,' 'Godfather 2,' 'The Sting,' 'Rocky,' we're talking about some of the most popular films ever made. It feels like there's now a prejudice against popular cinema. In a way, that's somewhat sad."
Robert Downey Jr. has earned two Oscar nominations previously in his career. One for his work in 1993's Chaplin and one for his comedic work in 2008's Tropic Thunder. If he can earn one for playing an over-the-top method actor in a blockbuster comedy, why not one for playing a superhero? This news was first reported by The Washington Post.