Marvel Changes Plans, Going Back to Robert Downey Jr.

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Robert Downey, Jr,. as Iron Man

Credit: Marvel Studios

The Marvel Cinematic Universe might not be done with Robert Downey Jr. as a super hero after all.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe dramatically ended Phase Three with Avengers: Endgame (2019),saying goodbye to Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America. Now, four years later, Disney has moved full steam ahead into Phase 5 of the MCU.

(L-R) Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, and Scarlett Johannsson in 'The Avengers' (2012)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Phase Four began with the Disney+ Original WandaVision, starring Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) and Paul Bettany (Vision) back in 2021. Following that, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) starring Simu Liu (Shang-Chi), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) with Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) with Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) with Chris Hemsworth (Thor Odinson) and Natalie Portman (Jane Foster/Mighty Thor), and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022) were all released.

Phase 4 ended with an absolute box office bang in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), which pulled in more than $1.3 billion. 

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Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man (left) and Don Cheadle as War Machine (right)
Credit: Marvel Studios

While it seemed that Phase 5 was set to move forward with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, as well as more Avengers projects, and Spider-Man 4, it seems that Disney might have something else up its sleeve.

GFR is reporting that Robert Downey Jr. could be making a cameo in Spider-Man 4. Of course, this film will follow the events of Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021).

While this doesn’t necessarily mean that RDJ will do anything other than a cameo– perhaps, similar to what we saw with Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire in the last Spider-Man— it would be interesting for Marvel to go back to the Iron Man actor after essentially announcing that it was moving on and looking toward new projects after Endgame.

Tom Holland (Spider-Man) and Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark) in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' (2017)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Is it possible that Marvel is open to having Tony Stark return from an alternate universe? Of course, it’s certainly not out of the question, as we saw several deceased villains make appearances in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

What’s more interesting about this would be the potential for both RDJ and, perhaps even Chris Evans, to reprise their roles in the future. It may not even be in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty or Avengers: Secret Wars. Rather, who’s to say that RDJ doesn’t return in some way well into Phase 6 of the MCU?

There are a lot of possibilities, for sure, and it’s certainly interesting to see that Robert Downey Jr. is at least still interested in future Marvel Universe projects, if the opportunity was right.

What do you think about Robert Downey Jr. making a return to the MCU? Let us know in the comments!

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