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‘Only thing I ever let go of had claw marks in it’: Robert Downey Jr. Claimed His Ego Wouldn’t Let Him See Anyone Else Play Iron Man, Wouldn’t Tolerate Recasting Tony Stark

Robert Downey Jr. Claimed His Ego Wouldn't Let Him See Anyone Else Play Iron Man, Wouldn't Tolerate Recasting Tony Stark

While the majority of MCU superheroes, be it Spider-Man or Hulk, have been rebooted at some point or the other with different actors taking over the character, there has only ever been one Iron Man, that of Robert Downey Jr.

The Golden Globe-award-winning actor has played the role of the billionaire scientist for almost more than a decade, during the course of which he naturally ended up getting attached to the character. So, back when he was still an active part of the superhero franchise, Robert Downey Jr. made it crystal clear that if the studio were to recast Tony Stark, then he wasn’t planning on letting go of the role without putting up a fight.

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr.

Present circumstances, however, have obviously changed, considering how the last of the armored genius was seen in Avengers: Endgame, wherein the Marvel fandom witnessed Iron Man’s tragic end.

Related: ‘He’s the first guy you’d want to have your back if something went down’: Iron Man Star Robert Downey Jr Respects Chris Evans the Most Out of All MCU Actors

Robert Downey Jr. Wasn’t Keen on Iron Man Being Recast

Back in the glory days of the superhero when Iron Man was still very much alive and Stark Industries was thriving, Robert Downey Jr. was not exactly thrilled by the idea of having to let go of the role in the foreseeable future.

In one of his interviews with Empire, Downey Jr. talked about the future of Iron Man and how he believed his depiction of the character was “the best,” which is why he wasn’t ready for the possibility of a recasting.

“Let’s just say that the only thing I ever let go of had claw marks in it. There’s a little bit of soul reclamation going on. I feel that the first time I played Tony, I did it best. Sorry. The affinity with Tony now is: How do you sustain something? I’m not stupid, I like to play ball, I love the company, I love the character, and the business side of things, I’m not too picky about that either.” 

Related: “Nobody else on Earth had a chance”: Robert Downey Jr Feels He Was Too Good to Lose the Iron Man Role to Tom Cruise or Nicolas Cage

Iron Man
Iron Man

However, as much as he was fond of the character, The Avengers star also admitted that if and when “the audience” demanded a change in scenery and didn’t want to see him play Tony Stark, then he would definitely back down from the role.

“[Recasting] would probably be the best thing in the world for me. You know, ego…but sometimes ego just has to be smashed. Let’s see what happens. I take the audience very seriously – I feel bad when I see folks doing movies and the audience is like, ‘Don’t do that anymore.’ I don’t have to overstay my welcome.” 

But the audience has always treasured both Downey Jr. and his portrayal of Iron Man so if a recasting did take place, it would certainly not be because fans wanted it.

Tony Stark’s Future in the MCU is Currently Obscure 

When Iron Man sacrificed himself to save the world from Thanos in Avengers: Endgame (2019), the entire Marvel fandom wept and wailed as they were forced to say goodbye to one of their favorite superheroes of all time.

Tony Stark’s unfortunate death, however, begs the question of what will happen to Iron Man’s legacy and whether or not he will ever be seen in the MCU again. And if so, then will Downey Jr. return as the superhero, or will Marvel Studios appoint someone else to fill in his shoes?

Related: “This legacy is going in the right direction”: Robert Downey Jr. FaceTimed Dominique Thorne to Encourage Her For Ironheart, Believes She Will Do Justice to Iron Man Legacy

Robert Downey Jr.'s final moments as the Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame (2019).
Robert Downey Jr.’s final moments as the Iron Man Endgame

Although there have been various fan theories about Iron Man’s revival in Avengers: Secret Wars, the film that will conclude Phase Six in 2026, from what it looks like, the Sherlock Holmes actor might just be more interested in leaving the franchise for good. However, no conclusive information with regard to the same has been divulged yet.

Only time will tell whether the formidable philanthropist will come back to the MCU or not.

Source: Showbiz CheatSheet

Written by Khushi Shah

An author at FandomWire, an abnormal psychology student, and an avid reader of dark fiction, I love to read and write and have been indulging in the same for years.