MCU Secret Divulged, RDJ DID Play Iron Man After Official Exit

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RDJ as Iron Man using the Infinity Stones to snap Thanos out of existence.

Credit: Marvel Studios

There are few characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with as large — or as passionate — of a fan base as Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man.

Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man
Credit: Marvel Studios

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RDJ’s fan-favorite character launched the blockbuster super hero universe with Iron Man (2008) and went on to appear in 11 total MCU films — Iron Man 2 (2010)The Avengers (2012)Iron Man 3 (2013)Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

As more than a decade passed, Stark turned from a billionaire playboy into the husband of Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), the trusted confidante of Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), the mentor of Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), the sometimes-adversary of Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), and the fearless leader of his father’s legacy, Stark Industries.

Tony Stark and Pepper Potts looking at Doctor Strange
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Stark also bravely sacrificed himself to save the world from Thanos (Josh Brolin) as Marvel’s Infinity Saga came to a conclusion in Endgame.

Although RDJ — who went viral this summer with a brand new blue hairstyle — has confirmed that his time in the MCU is through, and that he’s done “all I could” with the popular super hero character, he remains popular with Marvel movie fans — some have even begged for his return with a billboard.

happy hogan, tony stark, and peter parker in spider man homecoming
Credit: Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures

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As it turns out, though, RDJ actually DID return to play his iconic Marvel role after confirming he was done with the Iron Man franchise.

In a new interview, Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo divulged details about the editing process, in which they credit editor Jeff Ford with being “one of the greatest filmmakers” they’ve ever worked with. Seemingly, Ford was struck with brilliance during the editing process, and Downey, Jr. had to be called back to record Stark’s final line after officially confirming his MCU exit.

Joe Russo Chris Evans
Credit: Marvel

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According to Joe, “[Ford] hit play and Thanos says, ‘I am inevitable,’ and then beep beep beep, and [then] Jeff went, ‘And I am Iron Man.”

Anthony confirmed that “it was like we were struck by lightning all of a sudden.”

avengers infinity war iron man (left) and doctor strange (right)
Credit: Marvel Studios

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He than said the team knew they had to convince RDJ to return for a final shoot, despite the fact that he had “already said goodbye to the character like twice”:

“We called Downey. We said, you gotta put the suit back on. He had already said goodbye to the character like twice now… [and to make the whole thing even more emotionally] devastating for Robert, we asked him to put the suit on and come back to where he had originally secured the role [at a stage in Los Angeles] and to give his, his final line. Say goodbye to the character, once again.”

Despite the fact that Downey, Jr. has moved onto other projects, Tony Stark’s legacy will live on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

MK85 iron man suit
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Two upcoming series — Ironheart and Armor Wars, which will feature Don Cheadle’s return as Rhodey/War Machine — are both set to explore the impact that Stark’s life left behind.

What do you think about the fact that the Russo brothers called RDJ back after he had left the MCU?

You can stream Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and the seven series in Marvel’s Phase Four so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Marvel’s What If…?, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight, and Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel— on Disney+ anytime.

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