Robert Downey Jr. thinks he contributed to a Hollywood trend of putting franchises before "principle and personality".

The 'Iron Man' actor - who played billionaire Tony Stark and his superhero alter ego in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - has reflected on his role in the way the movie industry has changed from when he first took on the character in 2008.

He told Deadline: "I think that we are in a time and place that I unwittingly contributed to, where IP has taken precedence over principle and personality.

"But it’s a double-edged sword.

"A piece of IP is only as good as the human talent you get to represent it, and you can have some great IP even if it’s coming from an auteur or a national treasure of a writer-director, and if you don’t have the right kind of artist playing that role, you’ll never know how good it could have been."

He was responding to comments made by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino suggesting characters at the stars, not the performers.

While Robert has reacted differently in the past when people appeared to be "discrediting his integrity", he has learned that there is "enough room for everything" in the industry.

He added: "Thank God for 'Top Gun: Maverick' and 'Avatar: The Way of Water'. That’s all I have to say. We need the big stuff to make room for films like 'Armageddon Time.' "

The 57-year-old star insisted he wasn't referring to the idea of "trickle-down entertainment", but instead simply the way "things are always changing" with actors getting the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects.

He said: "It’s already a transformative, literally playing five different roles experience for me.

"So, I would just say, before we cast aspersions on each other — undergo your own renaissance and see if it doesn’t change your mind a little bit.

"Reinvent yourself before you decide that somebody else doesn’t know what they’re doing or that something is keeping you from doing your best, or that something is better than something else."