Kevin Feige Denies Having Discussions About Robert Downey Jr. Returning As Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man (2008), Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige refuted a recent report that the company was having discussions about Robert Downey Jr. returning to the role of Iron Man.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 07: (L-R) Laura Karpman, Kevin Feige, President, Marvel Studios, Nia DaCosta, Rizzo the cat, Mary Livanos and Jonathan Schwartz attends THE MARVELS Reception and Special Screening at The Westin Las Vegas and AMC Town Square 18 in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 07, 2023. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Disney)

A report from Variety’s Tatiana Siegel claimed that the company would be bringing back original Avengers characters for an upcoming movie.

Siegel reported, “Sources say there have been talks to bring back the original gang for an Avengers movie. This would include reviving Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, both of whom were killed off in Endgame.

She added, “But the studio hasn’t yet committed to the idea — if it were able to bring those actors back, it wouldn’t come cheap. Sources say Downey Jr.’s upfront salary for Iron Man 3 was around $25 million.”

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame (2019), Marvel Studios

Not only did Siegel report there were discussions to have Downey Jr. and Johansson return among others a recent rumor from scooper MyTimeToShineH claimed that Downey Jr. was already in the cards.

The scooper noted at the beginning of November, “RDJ already agreed to come back.”

MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios author Joanna Robinson also alleged during an appearance on The Watch podcast, “Well, that’s what Secret Wars probably is. I think that’s exactly what Secret Wars is. We have a quote from Kevin Feige sort of implying as much. That like Secret Wars will serve as a soft reboot in which they can prune everything that’s not working and just keep what is or bring back people you thought were gone forever.”

She added, “If Chris Evans is like, ‘You know what, my post-Captain America career is not going the way that I want it to, I want to come back and pick up the shield. Or Downey’s like, ‘You know what is too much money?’”

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers aka Captain America in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Marvel Studios

Feige addressed these reports and rumors telling Entertainment Tonight’s Ash Crossan, “Fallen Avengers returning? Is that a new [rumor]? I’ve literally not even seen that. Is that a new rumor?”

Crossan then explained, “Yeah, it was like one of the things that was talked about at this retreat where Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. possibly returning at some point.”

Feige then replied, “We did not discuss at the retreat is the truth. We’re doing a project with Scarlett. I love Robert. He’s a part of the family. But in terms of them returning, we’ll have to see.”

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in Iron Man (2006), Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Studios producer Stephen Broussard previously claimed back in February that Downey Jr. was off the table.

He told Gizmodo, “Well, I think one of the meta-narratives of Phase Four was about new characters. It was about new people stepping into mantles. If you look at, like, Cassie [Lang in Quantumania] getting a suit and Kate Bishop [in Hawkeye], new characters being introduced like Jack in Werewolf by Night.”

He then shared, “After these first 10 years of Marvel storytelling, torches are being passed, like with Robert Downey Jr. no longer being [on the] table and stuff like that. So it was kind of like a new generation stepping to the forefront which, again, has always happened in the comics.”

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) takes the stage at the Stark Expo in Iron Man 2 (2010), Marvel Studios
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) takes the stage at the Stark Expo in Iron Man 2 (2010), Marvel Studios

Downey also indicated he was done with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He told GQ in 2021, ““I have alighted, for now. Real world to save. But never say never.”

He also previously told Digital Spy in 2019, “We had to get off. We opted to, and knew it was part of the job to get off the bus while it rolled on to other destinations.”

“There’s something very sobering about it. I’m glad he and I will be there to welcome others as they retire their jerseys,” Downey Jr. added.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 13: Robert Downey Jr. attends the ceremony honoring Jon Favreau with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California on February 13, 2023. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

Interestingly, throwing a wrench of all of this is a testimony from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection employee claiming that Robert Downey Jr. was on the set of Captain America: Brave New World in Washington D.C. back in July.

Nawara Shora posted to Linkedin, “They are filming Captain America 4 around the White House and near my office. I was on a quick errand walk as I noticed all the lights and equipment and finally asked one of the security folks about it.”

“He was so talkative and nice, said — (SPOILER) — Robert Downey Jr was there last night and they were driving all sorts of super cars. We had a good talk and some laughs. I kept hoping for some producer to walk up to me and demand: “You! … You have to play my next superhero!”

He then shared a photo of what he encountered from the production on the streets, “Photo is a sample of what’s all over the streets.”

Nawar Shora LinkedIn

What do you make of Kevin Feige’s comments?

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