Robert Downey Jr is that name without whose mention the world of pop culture will remain incomplete. His portrayal of Tony Stark aka Iron Man conquered everyone’s heart and his presence in the MCU is missed to date. While his contribution is legendary to the MCU, he was interestingly not the first choice by the studio. Elaborating more on this, the Sherlock Holmes star revealed how he could have never got his hands on the role without the help of director Jon Favreau.
Robert Downey Jr and Jon Favreau have both shared a beautiful friendship on-screen and off-screen. Various interviews and reports repeatedly state that Downey Jr was never the first choice for Iron Man due to his controversial past. It is the director of the first two Iron Man movies, Favreau who had full faith in the actor.
Robert Downey Jr thanks Jon Favreau once again
People still love the bond shared between Tony Stark and Happy in the MCU which started with Iron Man in 2008 and ended with Avengers: Endgame in 2019. Recently when the 57-year-old actor appeared in an interview with Deadline, he was asked about the things he misses the most in the MCU. In reply, the Avengers star stated how the whole journey feels like a beautiful dream to him now:
“What I miss most? Being in the trenches with Kevin Feige throughout; the beginning, with Jon Favreau, it’s like a beautiful dream now; the middle, with Shane Black on Iron Man 3, we’d just had Exton and shot it mostly in Wilmington NC. It was idyllic and subversive. And The End, when I realized I’d made so many close friends in the MCU cast, and the Russo Brothers helping me embrace Tony’s arc.”
Soon after this, the Zodiac actor was asked about the audition process for Iron Man. Adding more to his statement, Robert Downey Jr stated how he heartily wanted the role and then once again thanked The Lion King director for his help.
“Another full circle story. I exchanged my previous obsession with an obsession for this role and landing it, and lest we forget, it was Favreau who was pushing for me but knew he had to play the politics or he would have no leverage moving forward.”
The void left by Robert Downey Jr when he left this role in 2019 with Endgame can never be filled. The fans still feel the sacrifice Tony Stark did to save the world and it was indeed an emotional moment for everyone to digest the fact that the character is not likely to be seen again in the MCU. But according to some latest rumors, we might expect some miracle from the Kevin Feige fortress.
Can Robert Downey Jr return to the MCU?
According to some latest rumors and reports, Downey Jr along with the other original Avengers can return to the bandwagon with Avengers: Secret Wars. With the current timeline phase of MCU focusing on the concepts of multiverse and several realities, it will not be very difficult for the characters to return.
On the other side, it is also speculated that Tony Stark might return as an AI like JARVIS or FRIDAY in the upcoming Armor Wars. The theories gained more weight after the project was changed from a Disney+ show to a fully-fledged theatrical movie. So it is a precedent that the studio will not mark such a high-profile return in a Disney+ series when it can raise roars in the theaters.
Although some fans might argue that the star has repeatedly stated his unwillingness to return to the role, the recent example of Hugh Jackman’s return presents a different story. Even after resigning from the role of Logan, Jackman is returning in the upcoming Deadpool 3. So it can still be hoped that we might spot the tech-genius once again in the MCU.
All the parts of Iron Man and the other titles of the MCU can be streamed on Disney+. Avengers: Secret Wars will set the theaters on May 1, 2026.