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Robert Downey Jr. is willing to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Iron Man

The popular actor who played Tony Stark is not giving up on his idea of returning to the MCU.

robert downey jr iron man marvel

Two months before the publication of this news, Robert Downey Jr. already showed his intention of wanting to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to once again play Tony Stark/Iron Man, one of the most popular superheroes in the universe created by Marvel Studios.

The actor remains stubborn in wanting to return to the MCU or at least attract the attention of Kevin Feige: in a recent high-profile interview he once again admitted he is “surprisingly open to the idea” of returning.

Robert Downey Jr. expresses his desire to return to Marvel

Variety held a series of interviews where it brought together pairs of actors who spoke about their most recent or emblematic works. At one of these meetings, Jodie Foster and Robert Downey Jr. met, where they spoke at length about their careers. In addition to talking about Foster’s ‘True Detective: Polar Night’, the possibility of Downey Jr. returning to the MCU as Iron Man/Tony Stark inevitably came up as a topic of conversation.

robert downey jr iron man marvel
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Tony Stark/Iron Man is probably the role for which Robert Downey Jr. is most remembered.

Iron Man ‘in my DNA at crazy levels’

Foster asked her session partner if he would be willing to put on the suit to be Tony Stark again, to which Downey Jr. responded “it’s something that is in my DNA at crazy levels. He’s probably the most “me” character I’ve ever played, although he’s much cooler than me. I have become surprisingly open-minded to this idea”.

Although Tony Stark died at the end of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (2019), thanks to his sacrifice, Thanos was finally defeated along with his interstellar army. However, death is no longer an excuse for a deceased character not to be able to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Thanks to the Disney+ series ‘Loki’, the concept of the multiverses and the variants - which are alternative versions of characters - is an option.

Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man Marvel Studios
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"I am Iron Man" is the phrase that defined an entire generation

Will Robert Downey Jr return as Iron Man?

Furthermore, this return to the MCU would be met with a hero’s welcome and a sense of prestige: Downey Jr. is not only the king of the box office but has also dazzled film critics thanks to his appearance in ‘Oppenheimer’ (2023), which saw him win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at the 2024 gala.

Of course, these are just the actor’s wishes and statements: there is no official plan for his return.

Robert Downey Jr. was the cornerstone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The first MCU film was ‘Iron Man’ (2008), starring Robert Downey Jr. in the role of Tony Stark. Although since this first feature film, the intentions of creating a cinematographic universe were already in place - there was a post-credits scene with Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury -, this would not have been possible without the excellent performance of its main character.

This 2008 feature film was a box office hit that grossed a whopping $585 million, about five times more than its stratospheric budget of between $130 and $140 million. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 94% from critics and 91% from the public; IMDB gave it a score of 7.9/10, where both critics and public enjoyed it equally.

Without Robert Downey Jr. there would have been no Captain America, no Thor, no Avengers and certainly no Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is for this reason that, perhaps more than with any other actor already “retired” from this movie universe, Kevin Feige would be willing to let him return... and even more so after Downey Jr.’s Oscar for ‘Oppenheimer’.