Robert Downey Jr. is one of the main reasons the MCU is so successful today. It was all built on Iron Man, with RDJ’s performance as Tony Stark being the reason audiences started paying attention to Marvel at a time when Batman and the X-Men were the most popular superheroes in theaters. But with Tony Stark dead in the MCU following the events in Avengers: Endgame, would an Iron Man 4 movie even be possible?
It’s a scenario I’ve never considered, even though I fully expect Iron Man to return for Avengers: Secret Wars in the coming years. That’s what rumors say, at least. While we wait for more evidence, we do have a new reaction from RDJ on a question about Iron Man 4. Before we go any further, I’ll warn you that spoilers will follow below.
The Iron Man trilogy could have been better
As integral as Iron Man might have been to the success of the MCU, the Iron Man trilogy isn’t exactly stellar. After the amazing first movie, the second and third parts seem like lower-stakes adventures. I’m sure Marvel would make a much bigger deal about both Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3 if it had a chance.
Then again, Tony Stark appeared in many projects that helped Marvel develop his arc outside the Iron Man franchise. We’ve seen him in all Avengers movies to date, and he starred in Spider-Man: Homecoming as well as Captain America: Civil War. The latter is especially important for the character.
Iron Man shined in Infinity War and especially Endgame, of course. And that’s where the character died. That’s why an Iron Man 4 doesn’t necessarily make sense.
But we’ve been expecting to see Iron Man’s return ever since his heroic death. We’re in the multiverse saga, where anything is possible. We can have Iron Man variants from different realities in future movies. Just as we can have Avengers bring back Iron Man from the past to fight Kang in Secret Wars.
After following the MCU for so long, especially the rumors and leaks connected to the universe, I’m fairly certain that Tony Stark is coming back at least for one more ride. He won’t be fully resurrected, however. It’s the multiverse that will make it all happen.
Iron Man will probably return in Avengers: Secret Wars
RDJ isn’t ready to confirm anything, of course. Nor will he until Marvel decides it’s time. But if you are RDJ, you will have to discuss Tony Stark and Iron Man in almost every interview.
ExtraTV: “Let me ask you one more question, Tropic Thunder. Tom Cruise is saying he’d like to do a sequel. Would you do it?”
Robert Downey Jr.: “Um, look. All’s I’ll say is this. Tom Cruise and I have not done a project yet together. And that’s kind of a ‘yes,’ and then we’ll figure out what the title is.”
ExtraTV: “What about Iron Man 4?“
Robert Downey Jr: “Does he want to do that?”
ExtraTV: “We want to see you in that!”
You can watch the entire thing at the end of the clip below. It’s funny to see RDJ dodge the Iron Man 4 question there. But he also seems to be surprised. The actor has addressed questions about his return to the Iron Man role. But this one specifically mentioned Iron Man 4 rather than an Avengers movie like Secret Wars.
What about Tom Cruise?
There’s also the Tom Cruise aspect of the question. Cruise famously declined the role of Iron Man, which made RDJ’s iconic Tony Stark possible.
Let’s remember that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness rumors said that Tom Cruise would have been an Iron Man variant from Earth-838. And newer leaks claim that Iron Man is still out there, possibly looking to do some avenging after what Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) did to their world.
I will point out that Marvel already has an Iron Man replacement. We met Ironheart (Dominique Thorne) in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. An Ironheart TV show will follow on Disney Plus.
With all that in mind, I still believe RDJ’s Iron Man will be back to help the Avengers save the universe at least one more time. Watch the interview below.