Robert Downey Jr. Pens Thank-You For Iron Man Tenure, Including Some Unexpected Names

Robert Downey Jr. Avengers: Endgame screenshot
(Image credit: Disney)

The death of Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame left many Marvel fans emotional and upset. Some fans even as far as to campaign for Iron Man’s return despite Robert Downey Jr.’s departure from the MCU. Before Downey  left Marvel behind for better pastures, the actor expressed his love for his co-stars on multiple occasions. As a show of love to his fellow MCU co-stars, the Oscar nominee penned a heartfelt thank-you letter. The conclusion to his Iron Man tenure was filled with the usual suspects but some unexpected names as well.

Robert Downey Jr.’s MCU thank-you came courtesy of the definitive collection The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (via The Direct). The set covered the building of the beloved cinematic universe. Of course, Downey Jr. played an instrumental role in the universe’s founding. After all these years, the Iron Man star gave his core Avengers their flowers especially Nick Fury himself Samuel L. Jackson.

And it goes without saying that Jackson's presence throughout (and portrayal of Fury) have been a connective tissue, our bridge over numerous credibility gaps. Johansson, Cheadle, Renner, Ruffalo, Hemsworth, Evans, Olsen, and I remain close-knit. (Yes, there's talk of a group tattoo.)

Of course, Robert Downey Jr. had to reference the infamous Avengers group tattoo, which Mark Ruffalo still hasn’t gotten. Acknowledging Samuel L. Jackson as the glue of the superhero team was well deserved. If Nick Fury hadn’t popped up in the Iron Man post-credit scene, the Avengers would’ve never happened. His closeness with his MCU co-stars came through his words. But the Dolittle star wasn’t done shouting out his Marvel family.

Robert Downey Jr.’s thank-you took an unexpected turn. He decided to set aside some room for those who contributed to the MCU. Downey Jr. chose to give some Infinity Saga villains their proper due in his letter. The Hollywood star even threw in a name that's yet to grace the MCU: Ryan Reynolds.

I'll extend to Reynolds as well (to further prove I'm not distributor-specific regarding fellowship). While I have your car, I'll reach way back to day one, and express gratitude to Howard (our original Rhode)'), who was integral to my being cast. Almost lastly, every nemesis that Tony has encountered thus far deserves an honorable mention, so kudos to Bridges, Rourke, Kingsley, Pearce, Hiddleston, Spader, and, finally, Brolin.

Throwing in Ryan Reynolds and the original War Machine Terrance Howard showed just how appreciative Robert Downey Jr. was to everyone involved. While Howard’s MCU tenure was short, it left an impact on the actor. It appears as if Downey Jr. loved working with each actor. Of course, Downey Jr’s outpouring of love shouldn’t be too surprising. He referred to his MCU co-stars as a family many times.

While the letter was filled with love, Robert Downey Jr. revealed he had to get on the MCU bus at some point. Now, the actor has multiple projects – both in front of and behind – the camera. If you want to relive Downey Jr.’s Marvel tenure, you can stream the entire Infinity Saga on Disney+.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).