Robert Downey Jr. Returning As Iron Man For Multiple Marvel Projects?

Rumors are circulating that Robert Downey Jr. will be back for one MCU project, Secret Wars, and might have a cameo in a second, Armor Wars.

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

robert downey jr

The man that started the most profitable franchise in movie history, Robert Downey Jr., is potentially coming back as Iron Man in at least one upcoming Marvel movie. Twitter-based scooper @MyTimeToShineH has been accurate in the past, and their latest scoop is that Downey Jr. will be back for Secret Wars and might even appear in Armor Wars. Considering the heroic death of Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame, the character’s return will require some narrative hoops to jump through, but the comics, and the expanding MCU mythology, present a few different ways for his grand return.

First, Robert Downey Jr. back as the original Iron Man in Secret Wars can easily be achieved through the multiverse mashup of the movie’s concept. Coming at the end of Phase Six, Secret Wars promises to bring back almost every character from nearly every Marvel movie, including all three Spider-Men (again), and Fox’s X-Men, including the best version of Jean Grey. While the MCU movie will be tied to the timeline shenanigans of Kang the Conqueror, in the comics, it was Marvel’s best villain, Dr. Doom, that was responsible for the biggest crossover in Marvel history.

Arriving after years of build-up across multiple titles, the comic Secret Wars came about when Dr. Doom created his own world, Battleworld, that was a patchwork of previous Marvel series, events, and alternate timelines. God-Emperor Doom and his police force, the Thors, ruled over Battleworld with his chosen lieutenants overseeing their own domains. One of those domains was based off of Armor Wars, the source material for the upcoming movie of the same name, which focused heavily on Robert Downey Jr.’s signature role of Tony Stark, Iron Man.

armor wars
Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle as Iron Man and War Machine

Armor Wars was the name for the storyline in which Tony Stark decided to go around the world and stop his stolen technology from being used improperly. This included villains like the Titanium Man and Crimson Dynamo, along with the Z-list hero, Stingray. Robert Downey Jr., if he comes back as Iron Man for this series, would just be as a cameo, since Disney confirmed years ago that Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes, War Machine, will be the lead.

Originally a Disney+ series, Armor Wars has been expanded in size and scope, growing to be Don Cheadle’s first solo film in the MCU. Due to a development in Wakanda Forever, it’ll likely include Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams, the genius MIT student that built her own version of Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man armor. In the comics, after Tony Stark is rendered comatose in Civil War II, he works with Riri as a hologram, serving as a mentor to the young hero.

Whether Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark in full Iron Man armor, a hologram, or even just in a flashback, it’s great to hear that the star is not quite done with the MCU just yet. The perfect pairing of an actor and the role he was born to play, without Downey Jr. there would be no MCU, and likely no growing DCU either. We’re roughly 42 months away from Secret Wars, an event film that most fans are anxiously awaiting, for just the chance to see a film even bigger than Avengers: Endgame.