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Is Robert Downey Jr. Really Not Returning To The MCU?

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Well, there you have it, folks. After Variety claimed a desperate Marvel Studios was looking to bringing back the OG Avengers to spice up the flagging franchise, Kevin Feige has confirmed Robert Downey Jr. will never return to the MCU. Or has he?

In a Vanity Fair cover story on the iconic actor himself, Feige re-emphasized just how important Tony Stark’s death in Avengers: Endgame was and maintained that Marvel has no interest in reversing it. “We are going to keep that moment and not touch that moment again,” Feige stressed. “We all worked very hard for many years to get to that, and we would never want to magically undo it in any way.”

This is widely being taken as 100% proof that this means we can kiss goodbye to any hope of Downey suiting up once again as the Armored Avenger. Fans have been hoping for this to happen ever since Endgame released, as there were once widespread rumors that he was set to cameo in Black Widow, thanks to it being set prior to Avengers: Infinity War. But now, apparently, we can put these dreams to bed forever.

And yet, Feige’s comments might not be as definitive as they sound. It’s important to note that the Marvel prez’s words came in response to being asked if Iron Man would ever be resurrected. And, sure enough, like we knew well enough already, Feige explained that Tony’s Endgame death will always remain part of canon. But let’s not forget that we’re not in the Infinity Saga anymore…

Image via Marvel Studios

Yes, remember that we’re living in the Multiverse Saga, and there is one easy way for Downey to be invited back without “magically undo[ing]” Tony’s self-sacrifice. You guessed it — he could always return as an Iron Man variant from another universe. This is exactly the logic that Marvel is employing to bring Hugh Jackman back as Wolverine in Deadpool 3 while still claiming that it’s not desecrating the ending of Logan.

Feige has claimed that Marvel did not, as Variety reported, actively discuss rehiring Downey, Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johansson at the studio’s fall retreat, but there really is nothing stopping them from doing so given the unlimited parameters of the concept of the multiverse. The only real obstacle is whether Downey would be willing to return to the fold, which is a whole other kettle of fish that’s hard to determine for certain right now.

When it comes to Feige and Marvel, however, the door may still be open to a potential comeback for Iron Man, just not the exact Iron Man that we know. Probably in Avengers: Secret Wars, if anywhere. Look, am I also just grasping at straws here in the desperate hopes of seeing Downey in the MCU again? Of course I am, but both things can be true, y’know.


Well, there you have it, folks. After Variety claimed a desperate Marvel Studios was looking to bringing back the OG Avengers to spice up the flagging franchise, Kevin Feige has confirmed Robert Downey Jr. will never return to the MCU. Or has he?

In a Vanity Fair cover story on the iconic actor himself, Feige re-emphasized just how important Tony Stark’s death in Avengers: Endgame was and maintained that Marvel has no interest in reversing it. “We are going to keep that moment and not touch that moment again,” Feige stressed. “We all worked very hard for many years to get to that, and we would never want to magically undo it in any way.”

This is widely being taken as 100% proof that this means we can kiss goodbye to any hope of Downey suiting up once again as the Armored Avenger. Fans have been hoping for this to happen ever since Endgame released, as there were once widespread rumors that he was set to cameo in Black Widow, thanks to it being set prior to Avengers: Infinity War. But now, apparently, we can put these dreams to bed forever.

And yet, Feige’s comments might not be as definitive as they sound. It’s important to note that the Marvel prez’s words came in response to being asked if Iron Man would ever be resurrected. And, sure enough, like we knew well enough already, Feige explained that Tony’s Endgame death will always remain part of canon. But let’s not forget that we’re not in the Infinity Saga anymore…

Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark stands with his arms spread against a middle eastern desert in a screenshot of a famous moment from 2008's Iron Man.
Image via Marvel Studios

Yes, remember that we’re living in the Multiverse Saga, and there is one easy way for Downey to be invited back without “magically undo[ing]” Tony’s self-sacrifice. You guessed it — he could always return as an Iron Man variant from another universe. This is exactly the logic that Marvel is employing to bring Hugh Jackman back as Wolverine in Deadpool 3 while still claiming that it’s not desecrating the ending of Logan.

Feige has claimed that Marvel did not, as Variety reported, actively discuss rehiring Downey, Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johansson at the studio’s fall retreat, but there really is nothing stopping them from doing so given the unlimited parameters of the concept of the multiverse. The only real obstacle is whether Downey would be willing to return to the fold, which is a whole other kettle of fish that’s hard to determine for certain right now.

When it comes to Feige and Marvel, however, the door may still be open to a potential comeback for Iron Man, just not the exact Iron Man that we know. Probably in Avengers: Secret Wars, if anywhere. Look, am I also just grasping at straws here in the desperate hopes of seeing Downey in the MCU again? Of course I am, but both things can be true, y’know.

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