Robert Downey Jr.'s Return to the MCU "Has to be Earned" Says Avengers: Endgame Director

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Anthony Russo addresses a potential Tony Stark return in the MCU

Avengers: Endgame has been a constant topic of conversation among many fans in the past days due to the film's one-year anniversary. Recently, Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo joined screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely to rewatch the film during Comicbook's Quarantine Watch Party, while revealing a bunch of new information about the film throughout the virtual gathering with fans. The directing duo has also been active in social media sharing clips of fan reactions during the time when they snuck into a public theater.

A year removed from the film's release, fans are still reeling over the death of Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark in the film. Stark's death has led to numerous speculations among fans about if the character will ever return at some point in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now, a new interview with the film's directors may have shed some light on the character's future in a post- Endgame world.


Speaking as a guest in an episode of the ReelBlend Podcast , the Russo Brothers were asked if they would be disappointed if Marvel or any writer found a way to bring Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark back in the MCU. Anthony Russo said that it would depend on how the character is brought back and that a return is "certainly something that has to be earned." Here's what Russo had to say when asked about the character's potential comeback:

We've always said this and we've believed this. Stakes have to be real. If they are not real, then you know... the audience's emotional investment in those moments, with those characters, and the narrative is contingent upon them feeling like there's something to be lost. In all of our those Marvel movies... a lot of those stories are difficult. We wanted to commit very hard to that idea. To answer your question, I think like... in the context of that, it depends how he was brought back. It depends what the storytelling is. It's certainly something that has to be earned. It's certainly something that has to surprise and shock audiences. You can't simply just bring him back. There would have to be a really compelling, innovative, unpredictable narrative event to find your way there, in order for it to be worth it.


After the events of Avengers: Endgame , Spider-Man: Far From Home gave fans a glimpse of a world without Tony Stark and the ramifications of his death that goes along with it. Tony's death in Endgame also sent an emotional gut punch to fans globally. The return of the character has been an ongoing debate ever since the movie's premiere, but the recent comments from the Endgame director might give fans a glimmer of hope. However, this doesn't mean that Stark would be resurrected in the future. It's instead in the realm of possibility that Downey could return as an alternate reality version of himself.

There is one film in Phase 4 that could potentially address Stark's return without erasing the heroic sacrifice of the character - Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness . The sequel will introduce the concept of the multiverse to the MCU, and this could be one way for the character to return in a potential cameo. Moreover, Robert Downey Jr. has also said publicly that he isn't ruling out a return in the MCU, though it seems that he would be fine if a comeback never occurs. Whatever the case may be, the character's return to the MCU would be a welcome sight to many fans as long as it does not undo the resolution that Endgame provided to the character's arc.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal

MCU and STAR WARS Writer