Robert Downey Jr. recently revealed what he misses most about being a part of the MCU. Downey Jr. starred in the first installment of the MCU, the 2008 film Iron Man, and would go on to appear in a total of 11 films in the franchise. Portraying billionaire genius Tony Stark, Downey Jr. starred in three Iron Man films and four Avengers films, making Tony one of the most integral and central characters of the MCU. After 11 long years in the MCU, Downey Jr. exited the franchise when Tony sacrificed himself in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, the final film of The Infinity Saga. Even after Tony’s death, his influence continues in the MCU, with his sacrifice often referenced in later Marvel films. However, Downey Jr. hasn’t actually appeared in any Marvel movies since 2019.
In an interview with Deadline, Downey Jr. revealed what he misses most about the MCU. Downey Jr. says he missed “being in the trenches” with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige for so many years and traveling with each Iron Man director. He also praises directors Jon Favreau, Shane Black, and the Russo Brothers, who made Downey Jr.’s time in the MCU memorable, and who helped him embrace Tony Stark from beginning to end. Read Robert Downey Jr.’s full comment below:
“What I miss most? Being in the trenches with Kevin Feige throughout; the beginning, with Jon Favreau, it’s like a beautiful dream now; the middle, with Shane Black on Iron Man 3, we’d just had Exton and shot it mostly in Wilmington N.C. It was idyllic and subversive. And The End, when I realized I’d made so many close friends in the MCU cast, and the Russo Brothers helping me embrace Tony’s arc.”
Robert Downey Jr.’s Marvel Legacy is Still Strong:
Although Marvel fans were heartbroken to see Tony die in the last Avengers movie, Downey Jr. has reflected many times in the past on how rewarding it was to play the character, and how he felt he knew when to stop. Downey Jr. said that he had “an incredible 10-year run that was creatively satisfying,” but that he had “done everything” with the Marvel films. Like Tony in Avengers: Endgame, Downey Jr. has said he wants to focus more on his family and his philanthropic work, and it was a good time for him to leave the franchise in the hands of the next generation of heroes.
Despite Robert Downey Jr.’s departure, his legacy at Marvel remains strong. While there are successors to other MCU heroes, like Steve Rogers handing over Captain America’s shield to Sam Wilson, there was no immediate replacement for Iron Man until Black Panther: Wakanda Forever introduced Ironheart. Dominic Thorne, who plays Ironheart, said that Downey Jr. encouraged him to make sure Riri Williams “is and always should be her own person, her own thing.” While Ironheart is the spiritual successor to Iron Man, Downey Jr. is making sure that Thorne is creating a legacy of his own rather than directly following in his footsteps.
Is Robert Downey Jr. Returning To The MCU?
While Robert Downey Jr. has said that his Marvel days are done, that doesn’t mean he won’t return to the MCU at a later date. With Marvel actors being brought back from their genre retirement for recent films, as with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with Patrick Stewart, the MCU has proved that anything is possible. While there has also been some speculation about Tony Stark potentially being re-cast in future Marvel films, fans have dismissed the idea, saying that Robert Downey Jr. is too young to change the Marvel Cinematic Universe. are important.