“Thank god for Marvel movies”: Christopher Nolan Believes MCU Saved the Cinemas During its Darkest Period That Might Infuriate Martin Scorsese

Christopher Nolan says Jon Favreau's decision to cast Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark was a significant in the history of Hollywood.

"Thank god for Marvel movies": Christopher Nolan Believes MCU Saved the Cinemas During its Darkest Period That Might Infuriate Martin Scorsese


  • Christopher Nolan praised Jon Favreau for casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man.
  • Christopher Nolan said Marvel movies saved cinemas during pandemic.
  • Christopher Nolan revealed that he was a little afraid of Robert Downey Jr. when he initially met him.
  • Winning the Academy Award for Oppenheimer would be a dream come true for Christopher Nolan.
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British-American filmmaker Christopher Nolan is known for his complex storytelling which has earned him the title of one of the leading filmmakers of the 21st Century. Nolan has been regarded as one of the highest-grossing directors, especially with the success of Oppenheimer starring Cillian Murphy.


Christopher Nolan’s movies are infused with a metaphysical outlook, existentialism, ethics, and more. The use of mathematically inspired images and concepts in the movie has managed to garner attention and gain popularity amongst movie enthusiasts. The filmmaker recently in conversation with Robert Downey Jr. praised Marvel movies for saving cinema.

Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy
Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy

Christopher Nolan praises Jon Favreau’s decision to cast Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark

In an interview with NY Times, Christopher Nolan sat down with Robert Downey Jr. who plays Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer to have a conversation about their journey and the movie they made together. During the conversation, it was revealed that Robert Downey Jr. had auditioned for 2005’s Batman Begins but Nolan knew that Downey was not the guy. He said,


“I 100% knew you weren’t the guy. In my head that was already cast. But I always wanted to meet you. I was a huge admirer of yours and therefore selfishly just wanted to take the meeting. But I was also a little afraid of you, you know. I had heard all kinds of stories about how you were crazy. It was only a few years after the last of those stories that had come about you?”

Christopher Nolan went ahead to acknowledge the decision taken by Iron Man director Jon Favreau who despite studios’ hesitance towards casting the actor pushed and got him the part. He mentioned that Jon Favreau’s casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark is one of the most significant and consequential casting decisions in Hollywood history.

Christopher Nolan hailed Robert Downey Jr.'s casting as Iron Man
Christopher Nolan hailed Robert Downey Jr.’s casting as Iron Man

Nolan continued,

“It wound up defining our industry. Coming out of COVID, you say, ‘Thank God for Marvel Movies.’ And it’s one of those where, in retrospect everybody thinks it was obvious. But he took an enormous risk casting you in that role.”

On the other hand, Martin Scorsese back in 2019 said that Marvel movies aren’t cinema. He said via The Guardian,


“Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks.”

He added that movies are not the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, and psychological experiences to another human being. He also noted that he has tried to watch Marvel movies but they are not for him.

Christopher Nolan shares how he found his Lewis Strauss in Robert Downey Jr.

During the conversation in NY Times, the filmmaker was asked about how he reached the decision to cast Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer to which he said,

“You’re always looking to work with great actors, but you’re also looking to catch them in a moment in their lives and career where you’ve got something to offer them that they haven’t done before, or haven’t done in a long time.”

Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer
Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer

Nolan explained that he just really wanted to see Robert Downey Jr. put down all of the baggage, the charisma and just lose himself in a dramatic portrayal of a very complicated man. He added that he had always wanted to work with him. The actor in reply added that he gets easily distracted which is why Nolan let him embellish here and there.


When asked about the possibility of their Academy Award win, Nolan said that it would be a dream come true. Oppenheimer is nominated for 13 Academy Awards. Christopher Nolan is nominated for Best Picture, best director, and best-adapted screenplay. Cillian Murphy is nominated for Best Actor with Robert Downey Jr. being nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

Oppenheimer is available on VOD on Prime Video and Apple TV+.


Written by Avneet Ahluwalia

Articles Published: 173

Avneet is a Creative Writer at Fandom Wire with six years of professional expertise as a writer with artistic flair. Avneet combines her years of experience, love of the entertainment industry, and understanding of the expressive capabilities of words into her work.

In addition to her love of Pop Culture including celebrities, TV series, K-dramas, and K-pop, Avneet also prefers to read novels (hard copies), engage in discussions on anything at all, and take in what she sees and hears of those around her.

Avneet's writing style evolved over the years, from writing for beauty pageants to drafting true stories to writing stories about celebrities, television series, and movies. Despite this, she remains committed to discovering something new every day. Avneet believes that her writing will influence the readers since she strives to learn and grow with every piece of writing.

PS: She will never give up on persuading people to read "Normal People" by Sally Rooney.