When it comes to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's probably nothing that fans would like more than for Robert Downey Jr. to return as Tony Stark. Somehow, someway, despite the character's death in Avengers: Endgame, many people continue to hold out hope that Downey will make a comeback in the future. And while there are rumors that he will cameo in the upcoming Black Widow movie, the current indication is that the role is nothing more than a deleted scene that was cut from Captain America: Civil War. But there might be more on the horizon, according to some fans.
It's possible that a clue was hidden in Avengers: Endgame that could lead to a popular theory that many fans have had for Tony Stark's return, specifically when it comes a prominent Marvel Comics storyline. Check out the theory below:
TONY STARK is backed up in form of an A.I. ! Possible proofs from ENDGAME. Endgame's scene no one noticed. from r/FanTheories
Many fans have theorized that Stark could return as a artificial intelligence, especially since that's exactly how he's come back from the dead in previous comics. But this is the first time a fan has pointed out the limits of technology and holograms in the context of Avengers: Endgame's most heart-wrenching scene, as Tony Stark's hologram tells his surviving daughter that he loves her 3000.
While this does leave an avenue open for Downey's return in the future, that seems very unlikely given the actor's recent comments about his tenure with Marvel Studios. During an interview with Disney's twenty-three magazine, Downey explained why he and co-star Chris Evans had to move on from the franchise.
"We had to get off. We opted to, and knew it was part of the job to get off the bus while it rolled on to other destinations," Downey said. "There's something very sobering about it. I'm glad he and I will be there to welcome others as they retire their jerseys."
There are a lot of people who are fans of Downey's portrayal of Iron Man and of Marvel movies in general, but acclaimed director Martin Scorsese recently made people mad when he said that those kinds of films are "not cinema." But Downey himself had a thoughtful response to that comment.
"It's his opinion," continued Downey. "I mean it plays in theaters. I appreciate his opinion because I think it's like anything. We need all of the different perspectives so we can come to center and move on."
Downey can be seen in Avengers: Endgame, now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.