A letter that Robert Downey Jr. wrote in 2018 about his decade-long experience in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been released.

As The Direct reports, Downey’s letter is included in the recently released book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the erstwhile Iron Man paying tribute to his co-stars and the fans who love the MCU.

Downey begins his letter by recalling when he was first cast as Tony Stark for “Iron Man”, the movie that ushered the MCU to the big screen, in 2008. He shared a moment between himself, co-star Gwyneth Paltrow, and director Jon Favreau, honoured the actors who followed, and finally offered his thanks to the fans who made it all happen.

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Read Downey’s letter in its entirety:

I distinctly remember she, Favs and me sitting in a dilapidated Quonset hut, talking Potts and Stark, when he suddenly swelled up with a wave of emotion . . . joy, relief, faith, and grief all made a showing:

(Me, looking at him)
‘What’s up, boss?
(Him, looking at her)
“I just realized this movie’s gonna work.”

Turns out he was right; yet, there were other oxymoronic keys to Iron Man’s unlikely success, namely:
A) Unorthodox efficiency
B) Ceaseless development

And it goes without saying that Jackson’s presence throughout (and portrayal of Fury) have been a connective tissue, our bridge over numerous credibility gaps. Johansson, Cheadle, Renner, Ruffalo, Hemsworth, Evans, Olsen, and I remain close-knit. (Yes, there’s talk of a group tattoo.)

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We are more than impressed with Pratt, Lilly, Rudd, Cumberbatch, now Boseman, not to mention Larson, whom we all agree will be a fitting and capable advance guard for the second decade of shenanigans. I would loathe not to include Holland (therefore Watts) in the mix, having somehow re-relaunched the most recognizable of all Marvel creations.

I‘ll extend to Reynolds as well (to further prove I’m not distributor-specific regarding fellowship). While I have your car, I’ll reach way back to day one, and express gratitude to Howard (our original Rhode)’), who was integral to my being cast. Almost lastly, every nemesis that Tony has encountered thus far deserves an honorable mention, so kudos to Bridges, Rourke, Kingsley, Pearce, Hiddleston, Spader, and, finally, Brolin.

The Who, is YOU .. . If you made it to the “end credits” of this anniversary edition, you’re likely a fan, so there’s your Easter egg, darlings . . . a mirror! Folks who respond to mythological storytelling arc positively the propellant of all things Marvel. It’s always been that way, no supply required without demand. Ever since Comic Con 2007, it’s been apparent that the audience (no offense, THX) was no longer just listening. For ten years, YOU have copiloted the narrative.

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Finally, I hope these films have evoked a dialogue on equality, justice, freedom, embracing diversity, and combating intolerance with the power of partnership, sacrifice, and love.

At this point, Tony might say: “You’re welcome.” I’ll balance that with a boundless eternal: “Thank you.”