Martin Scorsese ruffled some Twitter feathers last week when he compared Marvel movies to theme park attractions and decisively labeled them “not cinema.” Although Scorsese was merely providing his honest answer to an interview question, and despite the fact that it’s completely okay when someone doesn’t enjoy the same things other people enjoy, some people were pretty upset about it—including James Gunn, who felt Scorsese’s comments were unfair. The filmmaker’s (fair!) criticism of the wildly entertaining capitalist enterprise known as the MCU gave journalists a free space for interview Bingo; it was inevitable that anyone involved with the MCU would be asked to respond to Scorsese’s comments in the following days (weeks, maybe—we’re still in the middle of this whole thing). Following responses from Gunn and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey Jr. has stepped up to take his turn in this silly debacle.
During an appearance on Howard Stern’s radio show, Papa Marvel himself—aka Iron Man—was asked to respond. Approaching the issue diplomatically, Downey Jr. said he respects Scorsese’s opinion:
I mean it plays in theaters. I appreciate [Scorsese’s] opinion. I think it’s like anything where we need all of the different perspectives so we can come to center and move on.
Stern asked if Downey Jr. felt insulted by the comments, to which the actor replied, “No. It’d be like saying Howard Stern isn’t radio. It makes no sense to say it.” Still, acknowledging that the MCU has become a “multi-headed Hydra,” Downey Jr. conceded that this particular brand of blockbuster may have “denigrated... the art form of cinema”:
Of course he’s not jealous of the success. He’s Martin Scorsese. By the way, there is a lot to be said for how these genre movies, and I was happy to be part of the “problem,” if there is one, but how they have denigrated the era, the art form of cinema. When you come in like a stomping beast and you eliminate the competition in such a demonstrative way, it’s phenomenal.
Ah, capitalism! Meanwhile, Jeremy Renner sulks by his phone waiting for someone—anyone—to ask what he thinks about this whole thing.