Fans might only consider Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, but the actor made a point to pass the torch to what fans consider to be his replacement.
In the comics, Ironheart could talk to Tony Stark’s AI and learn how to build her suit and save the world. This time, Stark didn’t create any crazy AI, but he inspired a girl who loved technology to build her suit. Instead of building the suit in a cave, she got help from Wakanda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022).
After Avengers: Endgame (2019), Robert Downey Jr. ended his time as Tony Stark with a heroic sacrifice. Due to the Multiverse Saga, there’s a chance he can return in a cameo in a movie like Avengers: Secret Wars (2026), but the actor isn’t returning for another major role in the MCU again. After being the star that made the MCU possible, RDJ can finally rest and be assured that his role will live on for the next few decades as one of the best MCU roles onscreen.
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While fans love the actor dearly, Marvel understands that other characters have taken on the role Stark had in the Avengers, and they are already planning on how to continue the story. After seeing Ironheart in Black Panther 2, fans weren’t thrilled at how quickly it felt like Marvel was replacing Iron Man in the MCU.
Dominque Thorne’s Riri Williams/Ironheart has taken a lot of heat for her role, but she isn’t bothered. She is perfectly fine with her role after sharing that RDJ had a conversation that helped inspire her MCU role to be unique in a great way.
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While talking with The Direct, she shared that she talked with RDJ at the end of filming her MCU role, which was very exciting for her:
“He did. You know, it was actually a really great conversation. And I think the timing of it especially was what was probably the most significant. This was right at the tail-end of filming. So obviously, I’m sure, as you can imagine, it was such a whirlwind one.”
She went on to explain that RDJ didn’t have a list of pointers for her but admitted that he didn’t have real advice for her:
“So, he and I didn’t really have much chance to connect prior to, but maybe that worked out pretty well, because, actually, the first thing he said in our conversation, or toward the end of the conversation, was that he didn’t have any advice for me. And he felt like I was actually pretty okay and that I’d be all right.”
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He then talked more about what Riri Williams should be, and the actress shared that his words helped center her as a different character in the MCU:
“And he shared a lot about… making sure that Riri is her own person, and all of the things that I can obviously attribute to her existence, and what it means, and what it represents, and what it can offer… Really just in the vein of being authentic to that, and true to that, and nurturing that. And then, I think, the second half, I have to keep near and dear to my heart. He definitely gave me a piece… some, some words of encouragement for… as I continue to navigate all that this life could be, which I appreciate. But yeah, it was, it was a good conversation for sure.”
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While it’s good that Robert Downey Jr. reached out to Thorne about her new role, it’s clear that the legendary actor was confident in her ability. Fans might continue to vent online at Marvel’s decision to bring her into the MCU so soon, but it seems Ironheart isn’t going anywhere.
Do you approve of Ironheart taking Iron Man’s role in the MCU? Let us know what you think!