Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man Replacement Leaks, First Look Given

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Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man

Credit: Marvel Studios

A leak has revealed Iron Man’s replacement in Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a first look now spreading online.

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man
Credit: Marvel Studios

Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, is almost synonymous with the MCU itself. Having been the actor behind the first-ever movie in Feige’s huge interconnected cinematic project, Downey Jr. is one of the most beloved components of the billion-dollar franchise.

From Iron Man (2008), directed by Jon Favreau, to later appearances in 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), Downey Jr. has been integral to the MCU’s success.

Marvel's Avengers including Thor, Black Widow, Captain Avenger, Hawkeye, Iron Man, and the Hulk, look up at the destruction of the city.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Names the Replacements for Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor Amid MCU Overhaul, Report Claims

Since the Russo Brothers’ Avengers: Endgame, though, Iron Man has been absent from the MCU after sacrificing himself to save the universe from the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin). And it’s clear his absence is being felt more than ever as the MCU tries to navigate the current Multiverse Saga without legacy actors like Downey Jr., Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), and Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow).

Since Marvel Phase Four began, there has been a steady decline in positive reception to Marvel Studios’ projects. Phase Four also saw the beginning of the studio’s television efforts, with shows like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki debuting on The Walt Disney Company’s streaming service, Disney+.

Anthony Mackie holding Captain America's shield
Credit: Marvel Studios

And so as movies like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) bomb at the box office and director Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels projects a franchise low box office opening weekend, audiences are seemingly craving the old MCU, complete with characters like Iron Man and Captain America.

Despite rumors surrounding the possibility of the future Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2026) and Avengers: Secret Wars (2027), including Variants of these popular characters, there is no confirmation from Disney or Marvel about them returning.

The Avengers original lineup featuring Hulk, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, and Nick Fury
Credit: Marvel Studios

That said, it is clear that Marvel Studios has already committed to the future of characters like Iron Man and Captain America. The end of Avengers: Endgame showed an older Steve Rogers handing over his shield to Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson/Falcon, with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showcasing his transition into becoming the next Captain America.

And then, in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), Dominique Thorne made her MCU debut as the inventor Riri Williams, AKA Ironheart — the future of the Iron Man legacy.

Dominque Thorne as Riri Williams in Ironheart helmet
Credit: Marvel Studios

Now, a new leak has given a first look at the new Ironheart character in a never-before-seen suit. Sure, audiences saw Thorne in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther (2018) sequel, but this leak comes by the way of crewmembers who worked on the upcoming Ironheart TV show and thus have the most up-to-date version of the character.

The eBay listing shows this new incarnation of Ironheart pictured on “thank you” gifts for the cast and crew and showcases the MCU’s next “Iron Man” in a whole new light. “The suit takes inspiration from Ironheart’s design from the comics, featuring a black chest piece along with a heart on the chest and the forehead of the helmet,” The Direct notes.

Riri Williams/Ironheart working on her suit
Credit: Marvel Studios

As for the Ironheart TV show, a recent filing via the U.S. Copyright Office positions the upcoming series as being released in late 2024 alongside Agatha: Darkhold Diaries (formerly Agatha: Coven of Chaos). However, Marvel Studios’ current television plan is being overhauled after a string of negative reviews and unsuccessful attempts at bridging the gap between movie making and television making.

One big hit was the cancellation of Daredevil: Born Again, which is now undergoing a severe creative overhaul in order to get the series up to scratch. At present, the forecast for the Daredevil show’s release is early 2025, but that could all change now that the superhero studio has gone back to the drawing board.

Charlie Cox as Daredevil marvel
Credit: Marvel Studios/Netflix

Related: Tom Hiddleston’s ‘Loki’ Journey Likely Over for Good

Ironheart is created by Chinaka Hodge and will star Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart, Anthony Ramos as Parker Robbins/The Hood, Alden Ehrenreich as Joe McGillicuddy, Lyric Ross as Natalie Washington, and Shea Couleé as Slug. Sasha Baron Cohen has also been cast in the new Ironheart series in an undisclosed role.

What do you think of the MCU’s new Iron Man characters? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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