One of the biggest questions hanging over the MCU's metaphorical head has been how long its heaviest hitters –– Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr. –– have left in their respective roles. The subject has been especially pressing for #RobertDowneyJr. With 10 years and what is soon to be nine movies under his belt, fans are wondering when the time will come to bid Downey's version of #IronMan farewell.
There have been numerous confusing reports about the subject as of late. Kevin Feige has expressed his desire to keep the actor (and the character) onboard, while other more depressing Infinity War rumors and speculation have suggested otherwise. Thankfully, during an interview with News.com.au, Robert Downey Jr. himself has addressed the question to give us a better idea of what to expect from him in the future.
Downey Discusses Leaving The Franchise
First of all, what's gotten him to return to #Marvel's superhero adventures time and time again? Well, fellow nerds, it's quite simple. Despite Marvel and Iron Man's immense success, Downey is well aware of both the superhero fatigue, and of the fact that #TonyStark hasn't headlined his own movie since 2013's #IronMan3.
So, echoing what he said last month, he's willing to stay as long as the stories in the franchise keep grabbing him, and as long as Marvel wants him inside that shiny, envy-inducing iron suit:
"It’s this cyclical thing. I could have said when the first Avengers came out: 'It's never going to get any better than that. Everybody stop.' But to me it’s always about people and opportunities, like the Russos, who I adore."
Downey went on to drop another surprising revelation: Even though people may believe playing Tony Stark is easy for him by this point, it isn't. Turns out the actor gets scared every time he reprises his role as the billionaire playboy, fearing he'll ruin everything that's come before him:
"Everyone says to me it’s like a glove that fits so well. I have to start over every time but I am starting over with a pretty solid base. I just never want to blow it for the last six or seven (MCU movies) I have done by dropping the ball because I decided to go do it one more time. I just want to hang up my jersey before it’s embarrassing."
... Hmm, that was a bit cryptic, so one has to wonder:
So... When Will We Have To Say Goodbye To Tony Stark?
Is the time approaching for us to say goodbye to this amazing character or does he still have some battery left on that exoskeleton of his? Short answer: We don't actually know. If we look at it one way, yes, he might be dead soon. Despite his newfound role as a mentor for Spider-Man in Homecoming, we recently discovered that Stark wouldn't be taking part in Homecoming 2. On top of that, #KevinFeige revealed that major characters would meet their doom in Infinity War.
Homecoming 2 will take place shortly after #Avengers4, so doing the math, Stark's absence from the wall-crawler's sequel could be a sign that he won't make it out of the fight against Thanos alive. Now, don't take that as a fact, because we also have to consider three factors that paint a positive picture for the character's future. First, Tony Stark is one of the MCU's biggest money-makers, second, Kevin Feige has stated Marvel wants Downey Jr. back for as long as possible, and third, RDJ himself says he'll be back as long as there's good content.
"So... what in the world's going on here?" you frustratingly ask. Well, with so little information at our disposal, it's hard to make a concrete guess, so we'll have to keep our minds open for what's to come. But don't worry, while we wait for more information, let's rejoice in the fact that Stark is still a big part of the MCU, and he'll be making his presence felt in #SpiderManHomecoming, which swings into theaters on July 7, 2017.
When do you think Robert Downey Jr. will take his last flight as Iron Man? Let me know in the comments!