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Robert Downey Jr. says he is “surprisingly open-minded” when it comes to return as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Robert Downey Jr. set the tone for the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe with his portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man, but after more than a decade, the actor bid farewell to the role in Avengers: Endgame. While it may seem like Downey Jr. has moved on from Marvel, he has been more vocal about his willingness to return over the last year.

While speaking with Jodie Foster for Variety’s Actors on Actors, Downey Jr. said he was “surprisingly open-minded” to returning as Tony Stark. “It’s just crazily in my DNA. Probably the most like-me character I’ve ever played, even though he’s way cooler than I am,” he said. “I’ve become surprisingly open-minded to the idea. Between ‘Nyad’ and [‘Night Country’] and, for me, ‘Oppenheimer’ and then ‘Sympathizer,’ it really is crazy because we look pretty good. I was actually looking at the stills we were taking, making sure: ‘Do we still look kind of OK?’ I’m like, ‘We look pretty good.’

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has previously said that they would not undo Tony Stark’s death in Avengers: Endgame. “We are going to keep that moment and not touch that moment again,” Feige said. “We all worked very hard for many years to get to that, and we would never want to magically undo it in any way.” There are still plenty of ways for Robert Downey Jr. to return without undoing Stark’s death, including flashbacks, time travel, or even a Multiverse variant, but should it happen?

The MCU franchise has hit a rough patch since Avengers: Endgame, which has even forced the studio to take a breath and do a little creative retooling on their upcoming slate. Bringing back Tony Stark must feel like a good way to generate some interest, but the franchise should really be able to survive without him at this point. That said, there have been rumblings that Downey Jr. could return as a villainous Iron Man variant in Avengers: Secret Wars, and I must admit that has piqued my curiosity.

Downey Jr. was most recently seen playing multiple roles in The Sympathizer, an HBO miniseries based on Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. You can check out a review from our own Alex Maidy right here.

Would you like to see Robert Downey Jr. return as Iron Man (in any form), or should his character be left alone?



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