Can you imagine someone else as Iron Man other than Robert Downey Jr? Damn, no, right? Even though the superhero was dead in the final part Avengers: The Endgame, leaving millions of fans in grief, it is reported that the end of Robert’s contract with Marvel Studios was marked in Iron Man 3 and the actor nearly quit the franchise in 2013 itself. Thank goodness, we didn’t get to see that. Iron Man has a huge fan following and fans loved him and his ‘Genius, playboy, billionaire, philanthropist’ character a lot. However, according to a report in Empire, Iron Man 3 could have been the last one to see RDJ as a superhero in MCU.
In a 2012 interview, studio president Kevin Feige hinted at a future without Downey. He said, “I think Bond is a good example. Let’s put it this way: I hope Downey makes a lot of movies for us as Stark. If and when he doesn’t, and I’m still here making these movies, we don’t take him to Afghanistan and have him wounded again. I think we James Bond it.” Later, Downey reacted to Feige’s comments and told to Empire, “It would probably be the best thing in the world for me. You know, ego... but sometimes ego just has to be smashed. Let’s see what happens. I take the audience very seriously - I feel bad when I see folks doing movies and the audience is like, ‘Don’t do that anymore.’ I don’t have to overstay my welcome...”
However, there have never been an Iron Man 4 but the character was still there and used to make cameo roles or supporting roles unlike having a fully-fledged one. About his decision to appear in smaller roles in the MCU, particularly in Civil War, Downey told Empire in a 2015 interview, “They said to me, ‘If we have you, we can do this, or Cap 3 has to be something else.’ It’s nice to feel needed. And at this point, it’s about helping each other, too. I look at it as a competition and I go, ‘Wow, maybe if these two franchises teamed up and I can take even a lesser position, with people I like and directors I respect, maybe we can keep things bumping along.”
Now the character is being retired from MCU, there are reports that he might return in Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow.
Image source: Marvel
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