Robert Downey Jr. Admits He Didn't Have as Much Marvel Control as People Thought

For many, Robert Downey Jr.'s take on Tony Stark/Iron Man was an incredibly pivotal part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With 2008's Iron Man being the first film in the now-sprawling franchise, Tony Stark became a central figure in the various team-ups and sequels that followed, culminating in his onscreen death in last year's Avengers: Endgame. Given Downey's significance within the MCU - and the fact that he is a producer in his own right - some have wondered exactly how much creative control he had in certain decisions. During a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience, Downey revealed that it's a bit more nuanced than that, but that he always made a point to collaborate and form bonds with his castmates.

"I love that you think I had to have the authority [to say] 'Did you cast this guy?'" Downey joked. "'Alright, let me get a taste of him. I'll tell you if he can stick around.'"

"My M.O. is always 'Let's mind-meld. Let's get together. Let's work weekends. Let's spend time together.' Because you can't replace that familiarity, so you have to try to build it. And sometimes, it happens very naturally." Downey continued. "The whole Marvel universe - possibly without exception - just happens to be a really well-curated group of souls."

Some will surely find Downey's positive comments so bittersweet, especially after how things shook out for his character at the end of Endgame. While he hasn't completely ruled out a return, he's given a good reason for him not to do so.


"Yeah, anything could happen. I’m really enjoying…" Downey revealed in a previous interview before his wife interjected. He added, "As far as I’m concerned, I hung up my guns and I’m good to let it go. I also think Marvel is on this journey now and they’re trying a bunch of other stuff, and I’m excited for them to see how all that goes. It’s hard to project."

Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1st, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall of 2020, The Eternals on November 6th, WandaVision in 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022.

Did you know has a podcast? That's right folks, ComicBook Nation is available every Wednesday and Friday bringing you the best breakdowns of the week's biggest news from Kofi Outlaw, Matt Aguilar, Janell Wheeler & the rest of the staff at the site. Catch the newest episode right here or subscribe on iTunes today!

Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.