Robert Downey Jr. Is Never Returning To Marvel

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

robert downey jr.

We all knew it was true but we never wanted to admit it. Unfortunately, Kevin Feige has confirmed it for us. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Robert Downey Jr. is never returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Kevin Feige Makes It Clear

robert downey jr

Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, unequivocally ended speculations surrounding the return of Robert Downey Jr.’s iconic character, Iron Man, to the MCU.

Even though it would be entirely possible for Downey Jr.—or any actor whose character had been killed off—to show up in a future Marvel movie, Feige emphasized the importance of preserving the emotional resonance of Tony Stark’s final moments in Avengers: Endgame.

Not Touching The Moment

“We are going to keep that moment and not touch that moment again,” Feige stated firmly, referring to Stark’s poignant farewell in the climactic conclusion of Marvel’s Avengers saga.

Robert Downey Jr.’s farewell to the franchise was a truly powerful beat and one that took a lot of hard work over many years to achieve, according to Feige, who concluded, “We would never want to magically undo it in any way.”

Initial Reservations

Robert Downey Jr

Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man played a pivotal role in shaping the success of the MCU.

However, before securing the role, the actor faced resistance from Marvel executives due to his high-profile legal troubles in the past.

Feige reflected on the initial hesitations within the Marvel board, revealing, “It purely came down to the Marvel board being nervous at putting all of their chips in their future films on somebody who famously had those legal troubles in the past.”

Despite the reservations, Feige and director Jon Favreau advocated for Robert Downey Jr., leading to a decision that would shape the future of the company.

Testing It Out

robert downey jr iron man

The turning point came when the idea of a screen test emerged. Despite Robert Downey Jr.’s previous Oscar nomination for Chaplin, Marvel executives needed to ensure he was the right fit for the role.

The screen test ultimately sealed the deal, launching Downey into the iconic role that would define a significant chapter of his career.

Others Returning?

Just like Feige advocated for Robert Downey Jr., Downey became an advocate for the initial Marvel cast. Before the first Avengers, he utilized his contract negotiations to secure higher pay for his co-stars, setting a precedent for collaborative negotiations within the ensemble cast.

While it’s sad that Robert Downey Jr. is done with Marvel for good, the same can’t be said for other cast members yet. As rumors circulated about the potential return of the original Avengers in future MCU phases, Feige chose to address only the status of Iron Man, leaving the door open for the return of other beloved characters.

Marvel Storytelling

robert downey jr

While it may be challenging for fans to envision a Marvel universe without Robert Downey Jr., Feige’s commitment to preserving the integrity of pivotal moments in the MCU emphasizes the studio’s dedication to storytelling and character arcs.

Which, honestly, is a good thing, however disappointing not seeing Iron Man again is.