Robert Downey Jr. Comments On His Marvel Cinematic Universe Commitment Being Done

We have reached a monumental time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

The last movie to be released, Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), officially wrapped up the Infinity Saga. The next film, Black Widow (2020), will kick off the next phase of the MCU. In this next era of the series, we can expect to say goodbye to some of our most beloved characters, and hello to new characters who will carry the franchise forward into the future.

Among those stars who have confirmed their departure from the MCU is Robert Downey Jr., whose character Tony Stark is perhaps one of the most beloved out of all of them. Fans were devastated by Tony's death in Avengers: Endgame, and it is unsurprising that many were hopeful that Downey Jr. might return to the big screen in another Marvel film one day. 

In a recent interview on the SmartLess Podcast via - hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett - RDJ spoke about the aftermath of Iron Man's death in Avengers: Endgame and his relationship with the MCU moving forward. He confirmed "that's all done" in regards to any future commitments with the MCU, more or less solidifying his absence from any future installments.

However, there are still a few ways we could see Tony Stark in new MCU films. While RDJ's contract is up, that does not mean we will never see Tony on the big screen again. Possible spoiler alert ahead for Black Widow...

There are rumors that RDJ's Tony Stark has a cameo in the upcoming movie, but of course, there is no way of knowing what that would look like for sure at the moment. Some fans have speculated that this cameo will actually take the form of a deleted scene from Captain America: Civil War, one that has been screened before but has never been featured as bonus material. 

In the scene, Tony allegedly meets with Natasha and tells her to go on the run, which would serve as a perfect lead-in to Black Widow after the events of Civil War, and would serve as a nice wrap-up for the Iron Man character.

There is also the option for RDJ to sign back on with some sort of single-appearance deal, though this seems less likely. 

While it is so hard to say goodbye to our favorite characters, especially Tony Stark/Iron Man, there is such an exciting lineup of movies and TV shows to come with brand new actors and characters. With eight films confirmed for theatrical release and eight TV shows slated to premiere on Disney+, there is no shortage of upcoming MCU content to look forward to. 

While Phase 4 will kick off with the aforementioned Black Widow (currently set to be released on November 6, 2020) and will feature some characters we know and love, some of the films to follow will dive into the unknown and diverge from anything we have seen so far. These include Eternals (currently slated for February 12, 2021) and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (slated for May 7, 2021), which feature characters that are probably less well-known to the average movie-going audience. 

These movies present the opportunity for Marvel to introduce us to new characters who could one day become just as beloved as RDJ's Iron Man, characters who can pick up the mantle and keep the MCU moving into the future. While we will still see some characters we know and love (Thor, Spider-Man, and Captain Marvel), Marvel is preparing to tell some stories never before seen on the big screen. 

As it is, we cannot wait to find out whether or not there are future opportunities for RDJ's Iron Man to shine. Even if we never see him on the big screen again, we are unbelievably excited for all that Marvel has in store.