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‘A waste of time’: Robert Downey Jr hits back at Quentin Tarantino’s Marvel criticism

The Independent
The Independent
 2022-12-06

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Robert Downey Jr has hit back at Quentin Tarantino ’s criticism of Marvel movies.

The Pulp Fiction filmmaker spoke out against the “Marvel-isation of Hollywood” in an interview last month, claiming that there weren’t any “movie stars” coming through anymore .

“Part of the Marvel-isation of Hollywood is… 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, you know, but it’s like, you know, it’s these franchise characters that become a star.”

Tarantino’s comments were disputed by Marvel stars including Shang-Chi ’s Simu Liu and his frequent collaborator Samuel L Jackson .

Now, Iron Man star Downey has addressed the comments in an interview with Deadline .

“I think that creatively it is a waste of time to be at war with ourselves,” he said. “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.”

Downey played Tony Stark in 10 films across the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with Iron Man in 2008 and ending with 2019’s Avengers: Endgame .

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“I think that we are in a time and place that I unwittingly contributed to, where IP has taken precedence over principle and personality,” he said, adding that the issue was “a double-edged sword”.

“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,” he continued.

Downey recently took part in the Netflix documentary “Sr.” , focussing on his father, the underground filmmaker Robert Downey Sr.

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In an interview with The Independent , “Sr.” director Chris Smith spoke about the late Downey Sr’s reaction to his son’s Marvel success.

“I definitely think there were films that [Downey Sr] didn’t care for,” Smith says. “And I think, as Robert would openly admit, his dad wouldn’t hide his disdain if there was something he didn’t like.

“But, you know, when we asked him about the Marvel movies – about Iron Man in particular – I remember he loved it. He was like, ‘You have a guy who wants to give up his weapons!’ I think he was really proud, to be honest.”

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