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Iron Man’s return: Crazy leak details Robert Downey Jr.’s potential comeback

Published Jan 17th, 2022 11:32PM EST
Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame final battle
Image: Marvel Studios

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We knew Robert Downey Jr. would sacrifice himself at the climax of Avengers: Endgame battle. It was the heroic death we expected for the character in the epic conclusion of the Infinity Saga. We also knew how much we’d miss Tony Stark in future movies, just like we would miss Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Captain America (Chris Evans). But that same movie also gave us the tool that would make Iron Man’s return possible. The movie opened up the multiverse, showing that variants of our beloved characters might appear in future films. After all, the Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) variants in Endgame came from different timelines.

Then Marvel announced Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, all but confirming that the multiverse would be a theme in Phase 4. Loki, What If…?, and No Way Home started to explore the multiverse. Doctor Strange 2 will give us another in-depth look at the multiverse, including plenty of cameos of variants from other realities. Moreover, Iron Man already returned to the MCU; we just missed it — or largely ignored it. That’s because we want RDJ’s Iron Man back in the MCU above anything else.

If the following crazy leak is based on real information, we already know the movie where RDJ will make his first comeback to his iconic Tony Stark role. In other words, big spoilers might follow below if the leak is accurate.

Doctor Strange 2 cameos

Some of the earliest Doctor Strange 2 cameo rumors claimed in 2020 that RDJ’s Iron Man might return as a variant from the multiverse. Separately, older leaks claimed that Marvel might be working on a different superhero group. The Illuminati might include a different Iron Man that Downey Jr. might play.

Fast forward to the second half of 2021, and the Illuminati appears in Multiverse of Madness plot leaks. However, Iron Man was not a team member until very recently. A leak claimed that Tom Cruise would play a different Tony Stark, whose Ultron drones would aid the Illuminati group. As wild as the claim might sound, Cruise is the alternate Iron Man fans always wanted to see. But having Cruise as Tony Stark doesn’t qualify as the Iron Man return we want.

That’s if Cruise is in the movie, to begin with. A trusted insider said a few days ago that the actor won’t cameo in Multiverse of Madness. That’s an important detail to take into account when looking at the following Doctor Strange 2 plot leak.

It doesn’t just mention Cruise’s Tony Stark. It also tells us that RDJ will return as Iron Man in the movie. None of these plot leaks that we keep showing you can be verified ahead of time. Also, the Reddit mods who approved the post on the Marvel Studios Spoilers subreddit marked it as “definitely fake.”

However, some of these leaks prove to be accurate. Last year alone, we saw genuine plot leaks for Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home well ahead of the movie releases. They seemed just as crazy initially, as the following leak.

Marvel Studios
Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in a scene from Avengers: Infinity War. Image source: Marvel Studios

How Iron Man’s first return to the MCU might look like

Before we get to RDJ’s return to Iron Man, let’s see what sort of Tony Stark experience we might get from Tom Cruise. The actor plays a Tony Stark version from the Iron Legion Timeline, the leak says. And his Iron Man is supposedly one of the Illuminati:

Tony Stark is not played by RDJ, but in a funny reveal, it’s Tom Cruise. This version of Tony is a little insane, not only does he claim to be a prophet, but he actually has 3 of the Infinity Stones.

The way he is introduced mirrors the Green Goblin scene in Spider-Man 1, with Tom Cruise talking to the decapitated Thanos of his world. Tom really gives it his all for his brief screen time.

That said, Cruise will not be the only Iron Man in Doctor Strange 2, according to the leak. And this is where things get interesting.

RDJ’s Tony Stark

If this leak is accurate, RDJ’s will return to his Iron Man in Multiverse of Madness. Specifically, he’ll appear during the final battle as a different Tony Stark from a world similar to the MCU primary reality. But in that universe, it was Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) who died in the battle against Thanos (Josh Brolin):

big SPOILER Robert Downey Jr. returns to play an alternate version of Tony Stark. Doctor – Strange is able to make peace with this variant of Tony as they both understand what had to happen in Endgame. (The opposite happened in his universe where Strange died instead of Tony. They all fight Wanda who is quite literally the most powerful being in the multiverse. – – – – This is foreshadowing Secret Wars.

Again, this leak comes with clear warnings that it might be fake. That won’t stop diehard MCU fans from dreaming about an Iron Man return in the movie. Even if it’s fake, the plot leak might be great fan fiction that reads well, check it out in full at this link.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premieres on May 6th, which gives us more than three months to learn more plot secrets.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.