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It's been kind-of a long time since Iron Man was originally released into theaters back in 2008. In that time, Robert Downey Jr. has popped up in numerous Marvel movies and is slated to have a role in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming joint venture between Marvel and Sony, as well as Avengers: Infinity War. As long ago as a couple of years ago and as recently as a couple of months ago, we've heard that Robert Downey Jr. could be quitting Marvel sooner rather than later. How long Downey Jr. will play Tony Stark still remains a giant question mark, but the actor recently revealed why he keeps coming back for more. He said:
It's this cyclical thing. I could have said when the first Avengers came out: 'It's never going to get any better than that. Everybody stop.' But to me it's always about people and opportunities, like the Russos, who I adore.
The Russos are Joe and Anthony Russo, the creative minds behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War and the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. Robert Downey Jr. had already worked with the directing duo during Civil War before signing on for Infinity War. Much like Chris Evans' recent contract extension, Robert Downey Jr. had to sign a contract extension for Age of Ultron and Infinity War, plus the untitled Avengers 4.
If his creative arc doesn't end with Avengers 4 and he appears in any Marvel movies after that, he'll have to re-up his contract, and from what he recently revealed to News.com.au, it would take an interesting project and an intriguing creative team to get him to come back in the future. Robert Downey Jr. also indicated that he doesn't want to get fatigued by Marvel movies, but as long as the projects are challenging, he plans to keep on keeping on.
He also mentioned that it was the cool creative team that brought him back for Spider-Man: Homecoming, noting that Jon Watts' previous venture Cop Car got him excited about what the director would do in the world of Marvel.
I felt like we were literally back in the writer's room on the first Iron Man. So there was a real sense of a homecoming toward this -- not experimental, because there is so much more data now and the process is so much more streamlined -- but I didn't feel like I was being asked to just fit in somewhere. They wanted us to bring our own little thing.