With Three Little Words, Robert Downey Jr. Gave Iron Man Fans Hope For His Return

Robert Downey Jr in Avengers: Endgame
(Image credit: (Marvel))

Since summer, Marvel fans have been mourning the loss of Iron Man and the retirement of Robert Downey Jr. in the unforgettable role. But then again, Tony Stark has been center stage to the MCU for over a decade… it’s time to let go, move on. Downey’s moving on to a talking animals ensemble for Dolittle and he’s producing projects such as HBO’s Perry Mason. Unless…

Here’s Robert Downey’s latest answer to “Will Iron Man ever come back”:

Yeah. Anything could happen. ... As far as I’m concerned, I hung up my guns and I’m good to let it go. I also think Marvel is on this journey now and they’re trying a bunch of other stuff, and I’m excited for them to see how all that goes. It’s hard to project.

Looks like RDJ isn’t completely closing the door on the possibility. As he told Extra’s Renee Bargh during the Dolittle press tour, "anything can happen." And, he’s right. No one is ever “dead and gone” in the comic book genre. Yet, it does come with additional comments where the actor states it’s time for him to let go and allow for Marvel Studios to build past Iron Man.

Since his conclusion in Avengers: Endgame, Robert Downey Jr. has talked about distancing himself from the role. For a good reason, too. In order for his death scene (which originally could have been really gory) to have an impact, he can’t be popping up in every upcoming MCU movie. It just wouldn’t matter anymore.

How the filmmakers were able to conclude his and Captain America’s story along with wrapping up 23 movies is a massive achievement that shouldn’t be lost on “fan service." It’s great that Robert Downey Jr. understands this. Yet, down the line he’s not shutting away another appearance. There are a few rumors about more of Downey’s Iron Man out there too.

According to Jeff Goldblum, RDJ recorded lines for an episode of Disney+’s What If…? series coming to the streaming platform in summer 2021. The animated show imagines the MCU if some details were changed – such as if Peggy Carter became Captain America instead of Steve Rogers. Another (but far less-concrete) rumor is that Robert Downey Jr. will appear in Black Widow in the form of Civil War deleted scenes.

As for RDJ’s partner in the MCU Gwyneth Paltrow, apparently she might retire from acting altogether since her focus on her lifestyle brand, Goop. But, there’s a ton to be excited about for the MCU moving forward. Scarlett Johansson is finally getting her solo movie and the Eternals will be introduced in 2020 alone!

Check out everything we know about Phase 4 & 5 of the MCU!

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.