It’s been over four years since Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man died in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). But with recent speculations circulating online that the six original Avengers will once again return to the franchise, fans can’t help but wonder whether Marvel Studios is planning to bring back Tony Stark from the dead to make the rumored superhero reunion possible.
Will the MCU resurrect Iron Man?
In a December 2023 Vanity Fair profile on Robert Downey Jr. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said that they won’t undo the death of Tony Stark in the MCU.
“We are going to keep that moment and not touch that moment again,” Feige told the magazine. “We all worked very hard for many years to get to that, and we would never want to magically undo it in any way.”
Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo added “We’d already said tearful goodbyes on the last day of shooting. Everybody had moved on emotionally. We promised him it would be the last time we made him do it-ever.”
Is Robert Downey returning to the MCU?
While there are no plans to resurrect Tony Stark in the MCU, there’s still a possibility that fans haven’t seen the last of Downey Jr. in the superhero franchise, as the actor may pop up as an alternate version of Tony Stark or a completely different character in the MCU.
Although that is a possibility, it looks like it won’t be happening anytime soon, as the actor previously mentioned that he’s “all done” with the MCU. Downey Jr. made that confirmation during his appearance in a 2020 episode of the Smartless Podcast, which is hosted by Ozark’s Jason Bateman, Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes, and BoJack Horseman’s Will Arnett.
The revelation that Downey Jr. is already done with his MCU obligations came up when the actor was asked about how he’s balancing family time and Marvel movie time following the death of his character, Iron Man, in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
“I’m assuming that the Marvel thing is at a slower speed now, or are you done with that now?” Bateman asked Downey Jr.
“That’s all done,” the Dolittle actor said. “As far as I’m concerned, I hung up my guns and I’m good to let it go.”
Downey Jr. went on to say that Marvel is now on this whole new journey where “they’re trying a bunch of other stuff. I’m excited for them to see how all that goes,” he added.
Of course, as hardcore Marvel fans know, many of the people involved in the MCU are known for lying, so maybe Downey Jr.is really set to return to the MCU but is keeping it a secret to avoid spoilers.
What are Robert Downey Jr.’s upcoming projects?
While the possibility of seeing Downey Jr. back in the MCU is slim, the actor is busy working on different projects.
After starring as Lewis Strauss in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, Downey Jr. will be reprising his role as the titular detective in Sherlock Holmes 3, which is expected to be released sometime in 2025.
He is also currently filming The Sympathizer, an HBO miniseries, directed by Park Chan-wook. The actor plays several supporting characters in the spy thriller, which will debut sometime in late 2024.
Downey Jr. will also be seen in the crime dramedy film Average Height, Average Build and in the comedy film All-Star Weekend. Both projects don’t have a release date yet.
In addition, Downey is attached to star in a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. The project is still in early development stages and no release date has been announced. Downey is also reportedly developing a new television series for Apple TV+, but details about the project are scarce.