Iron Man met his demise during the finale of Avengers: Endgame (spoiler alert) and it was assumed that Robert Downey Jr. was retiring from the role completely. The actor portrayed Tony Stark in nine films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he’s rumored to show up in May’s Black Widow, but likely just in some sort of flashback scene. An eleventh appearance could be possible if comments recently made by the 54-year-old are any sort of indication.
While promoting his newest film, Dolittle, Downey was naturally asked about his time as Iron Man and if a return was possible for the notorious character. While chatting it up with Extra, Downey didn’t shut down the possibility of him coming back to play the billionaire, and it’s giving fans across the globe a whole lot of hope.
“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.”
“Anything could happen” is a bold choice of words, and as most comic book fans know, no one is ever really dead when it comes to superheroes.
Downey’s most recent comments about returning are somewhat surprising given what he said in the fall of 2019. The Sherlock Holmes actor noted that he knew it was time for him to retire from the MCU after Endgame, saying he had to get off the Marvel bus.
“We had to get off. We opted to and knew it was part of the job to get off the bus while it rolled on to other destinations. There’s something very sobering about it. I’m glad he and I will be there to welcome others as they retire their jerseys.”
The “we” Downey was referring to is none other than Chris Evans (Captain America) who also retired from the MCU after Endgame, but his character received a much happier ending in Avengers 4. Given their endings, it seems much more probable for Steve Rogers to make his way back into the MCU over Tony Stark, but fans really shouldn’t hold out hope for either character signing any further contracts with Marvel Studios.
The only original Avenger who is staying on for more MCU movies is Thor, with Love and Thunder just under two years away. Chris Hemsworth has admitted he will play the God of Thunder as long as the studio lets him. Scarlett Johansson will also retire as Black Widow after her solo film hits theaters in a few months.
Dolittle lands in theaters on January 17. Black Widow will follow on May 1.