Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. responded to Martin Scorsese’s recent comments surrounding superhero films on The Howard Stern Show.

Scorsese was asked about contemporary superhero films while promoting his upcoming film The Irishman. He told Empire, “I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema.”

He added:

“Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”

Downey Jr. would appear on The Howard Stern show where he was asked about Scorsese’s comments. However, he also commented on how he sees the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its stranglehold on pop culture and entertainment, “I’ll tell you the truth. I didn’t expect it to become what it became. And it is this very large multi-headed Hydra at this point.”

The Iron Man actor would then tell Stern, “According to Scorsese it’s not cinema. I got to take a look at that.” He continued, “I appreciate his opinion. It’s like anything. We need all of the different perspectives so we can come to center and move on. You know this. You are in therapy. You’re therapized.”

When Stern asked him if he was insulted by Scorsese’s comments, Downey Jr. responded, “No. Well, I mean look. It’d be like saying Howard Stern isn’t radio. It makes no sense to say it.”

Downey would continue, “In his view, and 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 – denigrated the art form of cinema.” He added, “And by the way when you come in like a stomping beast and you eliminate the competition in such a demonstrative way; it’s phenomenal.”

Downey would then interject, “Can I tell you something? Do you actually think Martin Scorsese is upset about Marvel movies?” Stern responded, “Yes. Yes I do. Because he’s the guy busy archiving films.”

Downey Jr. is not the only one to respond to Scorsese’s comments. Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn took to Twitter to respond.

He wrote, “Martin Scorsese is one of my 5 favorite living filmmakers. I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way.”

He added, “That said, I will always love Scorsese, be grateful for his contribution to cinema, and can’t wait to see The Irishman.”

Gunn would then clarify his comments, “And I’m not saying religious zealotry is the same as not liking my movies, or in the same category. What I’m saying is I’m not fond of people judging things without actually seeing them, whether it’s a movie about Jesus or a genre.”

Gunn and Downey Jr. would also be joined by Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson spoke with Variety:

“I mean that’s like saying Bugs Bunny ain’t funny. Films are films. Everybody doesn’t like his stuff either. Everybody’s got an opinion, so I mean it’s okay. Ain’t going to stop nobody from making movies.”

What do you make of Martin Scorsese’s comments? What about Robert Downey Jr., James Gunn, and Samuel L. Jackson’s responses?

  • About The Author

    John F. Trent
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief

    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.