Robert Downey Jr. on Martin Scorsese’s criticism of Marvel movies: “I appreciate his opinion”

“It’ll be like saying Howard Stern isn’t radio”

Robert Downey Jr. is the latest Marvel star to weigh in on Martin Scorsese’s recent criticism of the superhero franchise.

During his appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Downey – who plays Iron Man in the Avengers series – addressed Scorsese’s remarks, saying he “appreciates” the filmmaker’s opinion. 

“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,” Downey told Stern at the start of the clip, which was released on YouTube early October 7. “I’ve always had other interests, and according to Scorsese, it’s not cinema so I have to take a look at that, you know?”

Stern then asked the Iron Man actor to share his thoughts on Scorsese, who recently likened Marvel movies to “theme parks”. “It’s his opinion. I mean, well, it plays in theatres,” Downey replied. 

He continued, “I appreciate his opinion because I think, it’s like anything, we need all of the different perspectives so we can come to centre and move on.” Downey later added that though he wasn’t offended by Scorsese’s claims, saying Marvel movies were not cinema “makes no sense”. “It’ll be like saying Howard Stern isn’t radio,” he said. 

Downey also believed that Scorsese’s remarks weren’t fuelled by any sort of jealousy. “Of course not, he’s Martin Scorsese,” the actor told Stern. “By the way, there’s a lot to be said about how these genre movies — and I was happy to be a part of the ‘problem’, if there is one — denigrated 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.”

Watch the full interview below:

Downey’s response follows comments from his co-stars Karen Gillan and Samuel L. Jackson, who both defended the Marvel movies.

James Gunn, the director of the Guardians Of The Galaxy franchise, voiced his disappointment on Twitter, saying he was “saddened” to hear Scorsese’s dismissal of Marvel films.