Alejandro G. Iñarritu Still Hurt by Robert Downey Jr.’s Response to His Belief That Superhero Films Are ‘Cultural Genocide’

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Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu does not like superhero movies. The Oscar winner said in 2014 while promoting “Birdman” that superhero movies were a form of “cultural genocide,” adding, “I don’t respond to those characters. They have been poison because the audience is so overexposed to plot and explosions and shit that doesn’t mean nothing about the experience of being human.”

Robert Downey Jr. weighed in on Iñarritu’s comment in 2015 during an interview with The Guardian to promote his turn as Iron Man in the Marvel blockbuster “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” but the actor’s retort was somewhat controversial. Downey Jr. noted that he “respects the heck out of” Iñarritu but also mocked Iñarritu’s Mexican roots by saying, “For a man whose native tongue is Spanish to be able to put together a phrase like ‘cultural genocide’ just speaks to how bright he is.”

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In a new interview with IndieWire out of Telluride, where Iñarritu’s Netflix movie “Bardo” screened following its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Iñarritu reflected on Downey Jr.’s response. Suffice to say, Iñarritu is still somewhat irked by Downey Jr.’s comeback.

“It was like ‘Oh, you guys from your banana country,’” Iñarritu said. “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.”

Iñarritu said in his initial remarks that just the word “superhero” bothered him, adding, “What the fuck does that mean? It’s a false, misleading conception, the superhero. Then, the way they apply violence to it, it’s absolutely right wing. If you observe the mentality of most of those films, it’s really about people who are rich, who have power, who will do the good, who will kill the bad. Philosophically, I just don’t like them.”

“Bardo” opens in theaters on Nov. 18 and will stream on Netflix starting Dec. 16.

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