The official Avengers: Endgame Oscar campaign does not include a push for Robert Downey, Jr. in the Best Actor category. Downey, of course, has been the poster boy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for more than a decade, perfectly embodying the character of Tony Stark over the course of several appearances. Even after Tony died in Endgame, he continues to have a presence in the franchise. Spider-Man: Far From Home examined the effects Tony's death had on Peter Parker, and it's been reported Downey will feature in the upcoming Black Widow movie. Simply put, it's borderline impossible to separate Downey from Marvel.
Though Downey always gave it his all when playing Stark, many fans believe his best work came in Endgame. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo likely consider themselves among that group, since earlier this year they argued Downey deserved Oscar consideration for his performance. But as Disney launches the Endgame awards campaign, the studio is not targeting any acting nominations.
Disney's official Endgame For Your Consideration page has been updated to include a list of the various categories the studio's pushing for. Unsurprisingly, this includes some of the major awards like Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. However, many fans will notice Downey - or any Endgame actor for that matter - is missing. This means Disney is not campaigning for Endgame to earn acting nods.
This will no doubt be disappointing for people who hoped to see Downey end his time in the MCU with an Oscar. That Disney isn't campaigning for anyone in the Endgame cast to get a nomination suggests the studio doesn't want to appear to "favor" certain actors over others. It's true Iron Man had the most screen time in Infinity War and Endgame, but those movies were very much ensemble pieces. In the case of Endgame, there was such a focus on the Original Six, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans are as much a lead actor as Downey. Disney also likely understands it's incredibly rare for a superhero blockbuster to land acting nominations (Heath Ledger is the exception, not the rule) and with the Best Actor field stacked already, the feeling might have been a push for Downey would have been fruitless. It makes more sense to dedicate their resources to campaign in other areas where Endgame has a better shot.
Downey's MCU tenure ends Oscar-less, but that doesn't take anything away from his accomplishments the past decade. It's easy to forget now, but prior to him being cast, executives were concerned about going into business with him, but Jon Favreau fought for Downey and thankfully won out. Downey completely turned his life and career around starring in the Marvel movies, and he's now one of the most beloved figures in the industry. It'll be interesting to see what he does post-MCU and if he finds himself in the awards race again soon (he does have two Oscar nominations). Perhaps he'll receive one of the Academy's patented "career achievement" Oscars that in a way acknowledges what he did with Marvel.
Source: Disney For Your Consideration
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022