When it comes to superhero movies, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu is not a fan. In fact, he has a strong dislike for them. Back in 2014, while promoting his film "Birdman," which eventually won him an Oscar, Iñarritu made a controversial comment calling superhero movies a form of "cultural genocide." He went on to say that he didn't respond to those characters because they were nothing more than plot and explosions without any real meaning about the human experience.
One actor who couldn't let this comment slide was Robert Downey Jr. In 2015, during an interview with The Guardian to promote "Avengers: Age of Ultron," Downey Jr. responded to Iñarritu's comment. While he claimed to have a great deal of respect for the filmmaker, he also took a dig at Iñarritu's Mexican heritage. He commented on how impressive it was for someone whose native tongue was Spanish to be able to use a phrase like "cultural genocide." His comment caused quite a stir and the controversy around it continues to this day.
Recently, Iñarritu spoke to IndieWire at the Telluride film festival about Downey Jr.'s response. It seems that he is still somewhat bothered by it. Iñarritu shared his frustration, saying, "It was like 'Oh, you guys from your banana country.' If I were from Denmark or Sweden, I might be seen as philosophical, but when you're Mexican and you say things, you're pretentious."
In Iñarritu's initial remarks, he expressed his dislike for the word "superhero" itself, finding it to be a false and misleading concept. He also criticized the application of violence in these movies, viewing it as a reflection of right-wing ideologies.
While Iñarritu and Downey Jr. may have clashed over their differing views on superhero movies, it is clear that their opinions on the matter are deeply rooted. As the debate rages on, it remains to be seen how this disagreement will influence their future interactions in the industry.