Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame.
Joe and Anthony Russo believe that two-time Academy Award nominee Robert Downey Jr. deserves an Oscar for his performance in Avengers: Endgame. The "spoiler ban" for the most secretive film in recent memory is finally lifting tomorrow, and as it nears, people are gearing up to discuss it openly in public. At this point, the film has already nabbed $2 billion at the global box office, and is likely to become the highest-grossing film of all time. With that, it's safe to say that the majority of the public has seen the flick. While there are many memorable moments in it, one of the most talked about elements is the emotional wrapping up of Tony Stark/Iron Man's narrative, and if it's up to the project's directors, Downey needs to get an acting nod for his work in Avengers 4.
Kicking off the MCU in 2008 via Jon Favreau's Iron Man, Downey has been a staple of the universe since then, reprising the role 10 times (excluding his The Incredible Hulk cameo), and each time, he brought his A-game. Stark has had a roller coaster of an arc in the franchise, starting as a selfish industrialist and ending as a loving family man. But despite the content life he's living with Pepper and daughter, Morgan, he couldn't simply ignore the call of duty. And in a selfless act, he put on the gauntlet and snapped Thanos and all his minions from existence, ensuring the future of the galaxy, but also dying in the process. Fans have seen Downey play this role for the longest time, but his work in Endgame is arguably his best.
Given this, Downey's directors for Endgame are pushing for at least an Oscar nod for the actor. Sitting down with The Washington Post, The Russos sang the praises of the MCU poster boy, highlighting not only his work on the latest Marvel blockbuster but his performances throughout his 11-year stint as Stark. "It’s heartbreaking,” Joe said, referring to Downey's effective portrayal of Stark's emotional narrative in Avengers 4 adding that “he has the world in tears right now.”
Joe Russo: His cumulative body of work from these movies is staggering. 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.
Anthony Russo: He has a very involved process - a more involved process than any actor we’ve ever worked with. He digs deeper, and he works harder than anybody. Downey really just goes the extra mile for everything - it’s like everything he’s doing is something to his core. He’s one of the hardest actors to stage a scene for, because he loves to move so much.
The Russos have worked with Downey three times now, in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Endgame. Because of this, they and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely was able to properly set up his exit from the MCU. Apparently, the directors pitched him his arc in Avengers 4 first before moving forward with it, and he initially had mixed emotions about it. He eventually came around and accepted it, realizing that this was the best way for him to go out, considering that it services his overall narrative in the franchise.
So with Downey now getting some award season buzz, what are the chances that it actually comes to fruition? As of now, it's too early to tell, but seeing that the Russos aren't the only one to have this opinion might help the cause. The only superhero film to get an acting nod to date was The Dark Knight for Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker (interestingly, Downey was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Tropic Thunder the same year). But with Black Panther's seven Oscar nominations and two wins proving that the Academy may no longer be allergic to comic book films, there's a better chance of Downey getting at least a nod. There's no denying that he did a fantastic job in Avengers: Endgame, and fans can expect that Marvel Studios will be campaigning hard for him to nab the accolade.
Source: The Washington Post
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