Robert Downey Jr., the Hollywood legend who revitalized his career and became a household name through his portrayal of Tony Stark in Marvel’s Iron Man franchise, has set the superhero tone for the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Using his wit, charm, and emotional depth, he became one of the most beloved figures in the superhero genre and solidified his status as an integral part of the Marvel legacy.
Robert Downey Jr. on quitting the Iron Man franchise back in 2013
In a 2012 press interview with Empire, studio president Kevin Feige 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,” as he hinted at a future without Robert Downey Jr., as per Toronto Sun.
In response to Feige’s comments, Downey said, “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…”
Back in 2013, Downey also divulged whether he would be on board with more Marvel movies in an interview with GQ, however, didn’t confirm his continuation. He said, “Fortunately I’ve been around the block enough—I’m not ill-prepared. And I love change. I love it when a lightning bolt hits the genny and you’re down for two hours on the set. Now, this isn’t a lightning strike, this is like the warning of a gathering storm.”
Robert Downey Jr. opens up about on-set injury on Iron Man 3
Downey got candid about his on-set injury on Iron Man 3. He also opened up about being “too old to play a superhero”. Downey said that the injury “got him thinking about how big the message from your cosmic sponsor needs to be before you pick it up.”
Despite his predicament, he signed a new contract where he also appeared on other Marvel adventures as a supportive star including, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.
Additionally, Downey told Empire in 2015 regarding his decision to appear in smaller roles in the MCU, “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.’”
Downey reportedly retired from the MCU in 2019 after his character was killed in Avengers: Endgame.
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‘Don’t have to overstay my welcome…’: When Robert Downey Jr. hinted a Iron Man 3 on-set injury made him believe it was a sign from his ‘cosmic sponsor’