Robert Downey Jr. Will Not Return as Iron Man, Says Kevin Feige
The 58-year-old actor portrayed Tony Stark and his superhero alter ego in 11 movies from 2008’s Iron Man to 2019’s Avengers: Endgame but Marvel Cinematic Universe boss Kevin Feige has insisted there are no plans to “magically undo” the character’s death so he can make an appearance in future films in the blockbuster series.
Asked by Vanity Fair magazine if Downey could return to the role, Feige said: “We are going to keep that moment and not touch that moment again ... We all worked very hard for many years to get to that, and we would never want to magically undo it in any way.
And Joe Russo, who co-directed Avengers: Endgame, recalled how the cast and crew “said tearful goodbyes on the last day of shooting” the movie.
He added: “Everybody had moved on emotionally. We promised [Downey] it would be the last time we made him do it — ever.”
His brother and co-director, Anthony Russo, admitted it was a “difficult thing” for Downey to return to reshoot a final line as Tony, with the situation being particularly poignant because of the location.
He said: “When he did come back, we were shooting on a stage directly opposite where he auditioned for Tony Stark. So his last line as Tony Stark was shot literally a couple hundred feet from his original audition that got him the role.”
Meanwhile, Feige also admitted Marvel originally didn’t want to cast Downey in the franchise because of his troubled past, but he was determined to get his man.
He said: “It purely came down to the Marvel board being nervous at putting all of their chips in their future films on somebody who famously had those legal troubles in the past ...I wasn’t very good — and I’m still not great — at taking no for an answer. But I also don’t pound my chest to try to get my way. I try to figure out ways to make it as clear to other people why we should head in a direction. And that’s when the idea of a screen test came up.”