Don’t hold your hopes for the return of Tony Stark.
Speaking with io9, Marvel Studios Vice President of Production & Development Stephen Broussard shut down any speculation about Robert Downey Jr.’s return to the MCU.
Downey’s last real appearance in the franchise came in 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame”, in which his character, Iron Man, died.
“I think one of the meta-narratives of Phase Four was about new characters,” Broussard said about the transition into Marvel’s planned Phase Five of the MCU. “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 continues, “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.”
Recently, Downey reflected on the unexpected success of “Iron Man”, which launched the MCU in 2008.
“Well, I mean first of all, not too many people were thinking ‘Iron Man’ was going to have an opening weekend or do much of anything, so we were a little bit left alone,” he said at a Directors Guild Q&A.
“I find out more every day about how that thing was financed. It was basically ready to be written off if it tanked,” he added.
Rather than tanking, “Iron Man” made $585 worldwide, setting up a bright future for the blockbuster franchise.