Ryan Reynolds Is Marvel’s New Robert Downey Jr.

By Doug Norrie | 2 months ago

ryan reynolds hitman

Ryan Reynolds hasn’t even appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet and might already be taking over the franchise as the darling of the studio. It wouldn’t be that big of a surprise considering nearly everything Reynolds touches these days becomes an instant hit. So why wouldn’t Marvel and company want to lean into the actor as the MCU’s new darling? According to insider Daniel Richtman, that’s the case with Marvel looking at Ryan Reynolds in the same light they used to reserve for Robert Downey Jr. 

Richtman was able to expand a little bit on this thought around Ryan Reynolds, saying that his status as a legit movie star outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is why they compare him to Downey Jr. When the latter played Tony Stark/ Ironman for all of those years, he did bring a bit of industry cache the other Avengers didn’t quite have. They were all famous in their own right, of course, some extremely so, but Robert Downey Jr. had a certain standing that was above even the other superstars in the lineup. Between the talent and charisma, among other things, he was the face of the franchise. In this way, it looks like Marvel is passing the proverbial torch now to Reynolds. 

robert downey iron man

Some of this might be putting the cart before the horse just a bit considering Ryan Reynolds hasn’t even appeared in a Marvel movie yet. But the circumstances are a bit different than when Robert Downey Jr. first took the role of Stark. In this case, there’s already a very successful baseline for what Reynolds is going to bring to the universe. Considering two Deadpool movies are already in the books and have been massive (massive!) successes in their own right, Marvel is bringing in a star to take over rather than building one from the ground up. 

Robert Downey Jr. found himself in nine Marvel Cinematic Universe movies through his 11 years in the franchise. He was at the center of nearly all the major action and of course, had the most pivotal scene in the history of Marvel movies at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Besides being among the most emotional moments we’ve seen out of the studio, it culminated a fantastic run that embodied everything you love to see out of comic book movies. Ryan Reynolds doesn’t bring with him the same high brow snark, opting for more of the low brow laughs, but in that way, this looks like the perfect way to pivot things at the studio. 

Deadpool Ryan Reynolds

The first two Deadpool movies were blockbusters in every sense of the word crushing both the box office numbers as well as the critical scores. And the success was born out of a totally different style than we’d seen from the genre, going the full R-rated route and making it work on the back of Reynold’s sheer magnetism and talent. Though there had been concerns the next Deadpool movie would dial things back on the ratings’ front, it looks like Reynolds’ voice won out and the tone will remain the same even though they are on the Disney lot now. 

Having decades (when it’s all said and done) of Robert Downey Jr. and Ryan Reynolds heading up your franchise is a definitive recipe for success. And it’s why we’ve seen Marvel really lean into its stars.