Ever since Iron Man made the ultimate sacrifice to defeat Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, fans have been clamoring for the return of the MCU OG, even drawing up theories for when he could make another appearance.
On the matter of a potential comeback, Downey Jr. has openly had a “never say never” attitude despite Marvel Studios having confirmed he is "no longer on the table" as a regular MCU player as the focus shifts to newer and younger heroes.
Marvel Might Bring Back Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man.
A new report from Variety exploring Marvel Studios' recent behind-the-scenes troubles revealed the studio has considered bringing back Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, for a future Avengers movie.
While the report is clear the studio has yet to commit to the idea, there have been talks to reunite the classic MCU Avengers team, including the deceased characters of Downey Jr.'s Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow.
However, bringing back the Armored Avenger may be a costly task as Downey Jr. was reportedly paid a massive $25 million for his last solo movie, Iron Man 3.
That was a far more affordable price tag for the MCU veteran when the latest movies were regularly churning out billion-dollar box office hauls. But in an age where the franchise hasn't crossed that milestone with a non-Spider-Man-related movie since Avengers: Endgame, such a salary may be a bigger risk.
Why Bringing Back RDJ's Iron Man Might Be a Bad Idea
Generally speaking, fans have long had the expectation Robert Downey Jr. will eventually be back as Iron Man, whether that be through a time-traveling hop into the MCU past, meeting a Multiversal Variant, or some other form of resurrection.
Regardless, the new report from Variety marks the first substantiated claim of genuine talks at Marvel Studios about bringing back not just Iron Man but the whole original six Avengers. But as the MCU continues to face financial and critical struggles, such a movie may simply reek of desperation from Disney.
It's far from uncommon in Marvel Comics for characters to come and go out of the picture over the years, with few deaths truly being permanent. And while many were expecting to eventually see that represented on-screen, such a move should be made for legitimate story reasons as opposed to a nostalgia-driven play.
If Marvel Studios does decide the pull out all the stops to bring back Downey Jr. and company in a move that is bound to be a costly financial investment, Secret Wars is by far the obvious place for such a crossover of the old and new.
As of writing, that Multiversal event isn't expected to arrive until at least May 7, 2027, but with Marvel Studios reportedly reconsidering its MCU plans and focus on Jonathan Majors' Kang, who knows whether another delay may be on the cards, potentially pushing the Avengers blockbuster even into 2028.
The next Avengers movie will be The Kang Dynasty, which is currently set to hit theaters on May 1, 2026.