While promoting his Oscar-winning film Birdman, Iñarritu said that superhero films were a form of “cultural genocide”.
He said: “I don’t respond to those characters. They have been poison because the audience is so overexposed to plot and explosions and s*** that it doesn’t mean nothing about the experience of being human.”
Downey Jr – who famously portrayed Tony Stark aka Iron Man in the Marvel Cienmatic Universe – weighed in on Iñarritu’s comments a year later during an interview to promote Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The actor’s response was controversial, with Downey Jr stating that he “respects the heck out of” the director, but mocked Iñarritu’s heritage.
“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,” said Downey Jr.
In a new interview with IndieWire, Iñarritu – whose forthcoming Netflix film Bardo premiered at the Venice Film Festival – reflected on the actor’s comments.
“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.”
The Independent has contacted a representative of Downey Jr for comment.
Bardo is a semi-autobiographical fantasy-drama about Silverio, a Mexican journalist and documentarian who has left home to make a career for himself in California, where he begins to question his life decisions.
The film is set for a theatrical release on 18 November, and will stream on Netflix from 16 December.