With Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe currently underway, it’s exciting to be able to look forward to more Marvel stuff again with the knowledge that more content is coming sooner rather than later. On the Disney+ side of things, WandaVision is currently breaking convention and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is scheduled to land on Disney+ in March. On the theatrical side, we’ve got Thor: Love and Thunder, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Black Widow, and Eternals to which to look forward. Also on the theatrical side, though, is the news that Black Widow is reportedly being pushed back again. And a new rumor says that we could see the return of one of Marvel’s key players, Robert Downey Jr.
Insider Daniel Richtman reports that Robert Downey Jr. is willing to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe via a Disney+ show. This is big news, especially considering the fact that the actor has previously said that he has done “all I could” with Tony Stark. Of course, that could be him maintaining Disney’s trademark secrecy, as the studio is especially intentional about when information is released. Keep in mind that this is a mere rumor at this point and should be taken as such.
For those who have somehow forgotten, let’s quickly recap where we left off with Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man: During the climactic final confrontation with the Mad Titan Thanos, Stark manages to wrestle the stones from their grooves in the Infinity Gauntlet, triumphantly snapping his fingers and ending the battle in an instant. The move comes at a cost because the power of the Infinity Stones is too much for a mere mortal. Stark dies, and the world is forever changed. It is extremely well-done stuff, and it will be tricky to bring him back in a way that doesn’t feel contrived or convoluted.
You can see, then, why Robert Downey Jr. was hesitant to return to his career-defining role. His Endgame role was the perfect send-off for the mega-rich superhero, a fantastically fitting swan song for the character who effectively kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, the paycheck would undoubtedly be an attractive aspect of the offer, but determining what’s best for the character seems to be of more concern to Downey Jr. (which is good and indicative of an awareness of when to stop and move forward). But obviously, if Marvel and Disney can find a fun, inventive, unexpected way to bring Robert Downey Jr. back in some capacity, I do not think it is wrong to be opposed to that possibility. After all, people come back from the dead all the time in comic books. Why in the world would the movies want to be any different? If anything, that kind of faithfulness to the source material is to be commended, not condemned. It may not be the kind of faithfulness that lends itself to consequential storytelling, but hey, that doesn’t seem to have affected decades of comic stories.
What do you think, though? Is Robert Downey Jr. going to return, or is this news going to be debunked by both Kevin Feige and the actor? Let us know and stay tuned for possible confirmation of this news!