Robert Downey Jr. is a name that's being thrown around a lot this awards season thanks to his performance as Lewis Strauss in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer. Of course, many know the actor best for playing Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a role he first played in Iron Man and 2008 until the character's death in Avengers: Endgame in 2019. There's been a lot of speculation about whether or not the MCU will revive Downey Jr.'s character with rumors swirling that the original six Avengers will once again return to the franchise. Previously, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said Downey Jr. was "part of the family," but when it comes to his return, "we'll have to see." However, the producer is singing a different tune in a new Vanity Fair profile on the actor.
"We are going to keep that moment and not touch that moment again," Feige shared. "We all worked very hard for many years to get to that, and we would never want to magically undo it in any way."
"We'd already said tearful goodbyes on the last day of shooting. Everybody had moved on emotionally," Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo added. "We promised him it would be the last time we made him do it-ever."
While it's not surprising to hear there are no plans to resurrect Tony Stark, that doesn't necessarily mean fans won't be seeing Downey Jr. in the MCU again. There are plenty of rumors and theories about Avengers: Secret Wars, including the idea that an alternate version of Tony Stark from another universe could appear in the film. Of course, it's also worth noting that when it comes to the MCU, many of the people involved are known for lying, so you never really know who could be popping up.
Kevin Feige Talks Robert Downey Jr.'s Casting:
Earlier this year, Kevin Feige and Iron Man director Jon Favreau celebrated the 15th anniversary of the release of the film, and Feige called the casting of Downey Jr. as Tony Stark one of the best casting decisions in Hollywood history.
"I think that's probably one of the greatest decisions in the history of Hollywood," Feige shared. "I remember on later movies...I would say, Robert, we wouldn't be in this mess if it wasn't for you. Meaning we wouldn't have a studio if it wasn't for you."
"I remember sitting down with [Robert] and I was like, he just got it and he's got that spark in him and his eye and he's ready," Favreau recalled. "Once it was him, that's when my life got a lot easier." He added that Downey Jr. "had a very [high] standard that he wanted to hit with, not wanting this to feel basic. He wanted it to be special."
"It wasn't really until we cast Robert that I fully understood what the take was," Favreau revealed. "Every decision became a lot easier." Feige said of Favreau and Downey Jr., "You and Robert are that movie, it's the balance right between poking fun at it or taking the piss out of a moment, but also, and this is what you both are so good at, taking it seriously."
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