Avengers: Endgame Director Says Robert Downey Jr. Deserves An Oscar

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Though the next Academy Awards ceremony is still over nine months away, you may have noticed that some Marvel fans have started campaigning early, taking to social media to push for Robert Downey Jr. to receive an Oscar nod. And as it turns out, Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo is very much on the same page.

In an interview with the Washington Post, the filmmaker went as far as to argue that the Iron Man actor deserves an Academy Award perhaps more than anyone else in recent decades.

“His cumulative body of work from these movies is staggering,” Russo said. “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.”

Russo went on to describe some of Downey’s onscreen moments as “heartbreaking,” before adding that he “has the world in tears right now.”

So, could Downey finally land an Oscar nod for his work in the MCU? Honestly, it feels like a long shot. The Academy has a long history of paying little mind to superhero cinema beyond the technical categories, and even Black Panther – which received seven nominations, including Best Picture – saw none of its cast members recognized at this year’s ceremony.

Still, an Oscar nomination for a performance in a superhero movie wouldn’t be completely unprecedented. After all, Heath Ledger posthumously won a Best Supporting Actor award for The Dark Knight. And it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that Downey got some recognition from the Academy, having been nominated previously for 1992’s Chaplin and 2008’s Tropic Thunder (the latter of which, funnily enough, saw him lose to Ledger).

In any case, recent reports indicate that Marvel Studios might be planning a big Oscar push for Avengers: Endgame. But regardless of what the next year brings, it’s not like the highest grossing film of 2019 (and possibly ever) needs any awards attention to be recognized as a pretty big deal.

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