Well, there goes my future-hope of an Iron Man spin-off franchise called Iron Supplement-Poppin’ Grandpa. Although I should not be surprised. Robert Downey Jr. said several years ago that he wanted to quit playing the titular Iron Man before it got embarrassing, and that he didn’t want to “drop the ball,” so to speak. And he won’t, because there are no balls to hold anymore. Robert Downey Jr. has confirmed that his appearances as Iron Man are done.
55-year-old RDJ has played the character of Iron Man/Tony Stark in 11 movies since 2008. And even though Iron Man’s arc has been fully explored in a series of three films, the character keeps popping back up in various Avengers films, and cameos in the ongoing Spider-Man universe. He doesn’t currently have any Iron Man-related projects in the works, but that could have been by choice or by circumstance. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down – and continues to shut down – a number of Hollywood film sets. And because it seems like Marvel has 1.8 million superhero movies in production at any given time, it makes sense to assume that Robert Downey Jr. is probably always in-between Marvel projects, but he’s done, according to him anyway.
Us Weekly says that Robert Downey Jr. was on the SmartLess podcast (hosted by Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes) and Jason asked him if his Marvel obligations are starting to slow down a bit. They haven’t only slowed down, they’re done. RDJ said:
“That’s all done. As far as I’m concerned, I hung up my guns and I’m good to let it go. I also think that Marvel is on this journey now. They’re trying a bunch of other stuff and you know, I’m excited for them to see how all that goes.”
Iron Man has made Robert Downey Jr. a very rich man. So he probably doesn’t need more money and wants to focus on more artistic films like Doolittle.
The only issue here is that Marvel just absolutely loves bringing back old characters for surprise cameos. It’s like the superhero version of an extra-ambitious SNL cold open. I guess the good news is that Iron Man is 100% costume. Anyone could be inside! And yes, they won’t have Robert Downey Jr.’s voice, but they can easily work around that by saying Iron Man is sleepy and is too tired to talk right now, but he wishes everyone a super battle against whatever villain they pulled out of retirement. The fans will no doubt be pissed, but it won’t last long. Eventually, their hate will be re-routed once Martin Scorsese inevitably talks shit about superheroes again.