Robert Downey Jr. is done playing Iron Man forever, confirms Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios.
Downey played Tony Stark and his superhero alter ego in 10 Marvel movies, ultimately saving the world and dying in 2019’s "Avengers: Endgame."
“We are going to keep that moment and not touch that moment again,” Feige told Vanity Fair in a new cover story about Downey. “We all worked very hard for many years to get to that, and we would never want to magically undo it in any way.”
Downey apparently closed the book on Tony Stark after “Endgame” finished shooting.
The actor was hesitant when he was asked to come back and reshoot Tony Stark’s final line, the movie’s co-director, Joe Russo, told the publication.
“We’d already said tearful goodbyes on the last day of shooting. Everybody had moved on emotionally,” said Russo. “We promised him it would be the last time we made him do it — ever.”
“That was a difficult thing for him to do, to come back to pick up that line,” added Russo’s brother and co-director, Anthony Russo. “When he did come back, we were shooting on a stage directly opposite where he auditioned for Tony Stark. So his last line as Tony Stark was shot literally a couple hundred feet from his original audition that got him the role.”
Downey first played Iron Man in the 2008 movie of the same name. Despite some resistance, Feige and "Iron Man" director Jon Favreau were believers in Downey before the MCU took off and became what it is today.
“It purely came down to the Marvel board being nervous at putting all of their chips in their future films on somebody who famously had those legal troubles in the past,” Feige told Vanity Fair. “I wasn’t very good — and I’m still not great — at taking no for an answer. But I also don’t pound my chest to try to get my way. I try to figure out ways to make it as clear to other people why we should head in a direction. And that’s when the idea of a screen test came up.”
Since his Avenger days, Downey has appeared in the films "Dolittle" and, more recently, "Oppenheimer."