Should Robert Downey Jr Get An Oscar For His Heartbreaking Performance In ‘Avengers: Endgame’?

The box office earnings of Avengers: End Game have been nothing short of jaw-dropping. In just a matter of days, the film – which features just about every Marvel character, including Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man. – made billions, making it clear that the film is a massive hit with fans all over the world.

'Avengers: Endgame' star Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. | Photo by Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images

Just because the public has shown their support of the movie by spending their hard-earned money to see it the moment it hit theaters, it doesn’t mean that Oscar voters will love it come awards season. Will the Academy take the opportunity to recognize Downey’s heartbreaking performance that wrapped up the Infinity saga?

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo believe Downey deserves an Oscar

Both audiences and critics have praised Robert Downey Jr.’s performance in End Game, but Joe and Anthony Russo – who directed End Game, Infinity War, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Captain America: Civil War – believe that Downey’s work in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe has been worthy of an award.

“His cumulative body of work from these movies is staggering,” Russo told The Washington Post. “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.”

Downey has had two Oscar nominations during his career

During his career which has lasted more than three decades, the Academy has recognized Downey’s work twice. Back in 1992, he received a Best Actor nomination for his work in Chaplin, and in 2008, the hilarious role of Australian actor Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder scored him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

In Endgame, fans see Robert Downey Jr.’s character Tony Stark go through highs and lows, which allowed the 54-year-old to really show fans his talent, and there is no doubt the role – as well as the MCU – has literally changed movies.

The Academy doesn’t have the best history when it comes to recognizing films that have a huge impact on popular culture, and Joe Russo thinks that’s unfair.

“I go back and look at past Oscar winners like Ben-Hur, West Side Story, Lawrence of Arabia, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, The Godfather, Godfather 2, The Sting, Rocky — we’re talking about some of the most popular films ever made. It feels like there’s now a prejudice against popular cinema. In a way, that’s somewhat sad,” said Russo.

‘Black Panther’ got the Academy’s attention

Downey might have a chance at an Oscar nomination early next year thanks to the success of Black Panther. After decades of neglect, the Academy finally recognized the action, superhero genre with seven nominations and three awards.

With that success, it’s possible that Marvel might just lead the campaign for Downey’s nomination in 2020.

Iron Man changed Robert Downey Jr.’s life

Even if the Academy doesn’t recognize Downey’s work in the MCU, the role has definitely changed his entire career – and his bank account.

Downey was in his early 40s when he landed the role in 2006. His career was at a low point thanks to his years of self-destructive behavior, but Marvel took a chance on the actor because Kevin Feige and Jon Favreau were sure he was the best person for the job.

“We looked at everybody, and we found the best person for the role. It’s as confident a casting move as we’ve ever done. The proof will be in the pudding, but he is Tony Stark,” said Feige at the time.

More than a decade later, Robert Downey Jr. is now the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. And, just maybe, next spring he might have a well-deserved Oscar.