Marvel's Kevin Feige confirms: Robert Downey Jr. not returning to portray Tony Stark

    Feige spilled the details on Downey's possible MCU return as Tony Stark in a recent interview.

    Robert Downey Jr. (Source: Today Show)

    Robert Downey Jr. (Source: Today Show)

    Kevin Feige has confirmed that the Iron Man chapter for Robert Downey Jr. is firmly sealed shut. In a recent Vanity Fair profile on the actor, the president of Marvel Studios delivered an update, dashing the hopes of fans anticipating Tony Stark's comeback. The iconic character met his end in 2019's Avengers: Endgame, and since then, Downey has not returned to reprise the role.

    "We're preserving that moment and won't revisit it," Feige assured the outlet when questioned about Downey's potential return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "We dedicated years of hard work to reach that point, and we wouldn't want to undermine it in any way," Feige emphasized.

    Kevin Feige (Source: CBR)

    Endgame's Emotional Wrap-Up

    The director of Endgame, Joe Russo, shared with the outlet that the cast and crew of the 2019 film bid "tearful goodbyes" on its last day of shooting. Russo noted that by that point, everyone had emotionally moved on. "We assured [Downey] it would be the ultimate time we'd make him do it — never again," he affirmed.

    Anthony Russo, the co-director and brother of Joe Russo, shared that it was a challenging experience for Robert Downey Jr. to revisit his role and deliver his final line as Tony Stark. Anthony revealed the poignant coincidence that occurred during the shoot, as they were filming on a stage directly opposite the location where Downey had initially auditioned for the role of Tony Stark. He emphasized the emotional resonance of the moment, with Downey's concluding line captured just a couple of hundred feet from the spot where he first secured the iconic role through his audition.

    Casting Doubts:

    Iron Man (Source: IMDB)

    Feige also revealed Marvel Entertainment executives' initial reservations about casting Downey as Stark in 2008's Iron Man."The Marvel board initially hesitated, primarily due to concerns about placing such significant bets on an actor with a well-known history of legal troubles," Feige explained.

    Both Feige and Downey found themselves in a favorable turn of events, with the actor ultimately embracing the role of Stark in a total of 10 films spanning from 2008 to 2019. Notably, three of these films have earned their place among the top 10 highest-grossing movies of all time.

    In May, Jon Favreau, the director of Iron Man, joined forces with Feige to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Robert Downey Jr.'s inaugural appearance in the iconic armor suit. During their discussion on the film's enduring legacy, Favreau reminisced, stating, "I remember sitting down with the guy, and I was like, ‘He’s got that spark in him in his eye and he’s ready".

    Favreau went on to highlight Downey's understanding of the character's voice, making the director's job "easier." According to Favreau, as word spread about the project, it became increasingly intriguing, drawing more individuals to sign on board.