Avengers: Endgame marks the definitive end of Tony Stark as Iron Man, says 11-year Marvel Studios veteran Robert Downey Jr., who has moved on to "greener pastures." Starting in 2008's Iron Man as a selfish weapons manufacturer, Downey's Tony Stark evolved into a selfless superhero who made the ultimate sacrifice after winning his short-lived happily ever after with wife Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) and five-year-old daughter Morgan (Lexi Rabe): when fending off the alien army commanded by a time-traveling Thanos (Josh Brolin) to prevent the destruction of the universe, Stark wielded the six Infinity Stones at the cost of his life.
Whether or not the Iron Man mantle is passed to a successor — best friend Rhodey (Don Cheadle), the teenaged Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins) or potential Marvel Cinematic Universe newcomer Riri Williams, who in the Marvel Comics dons her own armor as Ironheart — Downey's tenure as the iron Avenger ended with Stark's clear cut death.
"The war for me is over," Downey told Parade when asked if an Iron Man return was possible. "I personally have alighted to greener pastures."
Greener pastures include the titular role in Dolittle, where Downey is joined by a slew of big names, including Antonio Banderas, Emma Thompson, Selena Gomez and Spider-Man star Tom Holland.
Downey is content to step down from the once rock-and-roll Tony Stark, one of just two times the actor went "method."
"There's been two times where I've gone into a feverish-almost-like-a-waking dream in prep for something," Downey said, also pointing to Chaplin, the Richard Attenborough-directed dramedy about Charlie Chaplin that scored Downey his first of two Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
"It's not so much that I related to him," Downey said of the often troubled inventor-turned-superhero, "as much as I just presumed that it was my destiny to build this character around all of my experiences."
In a separate interview with Extra, Downey said "anything could happen" in terms of Iron Man coming back — the MCU has already introduced time travel and the multiverse — but as far as Downey is 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."0comments
That "other stuff" includes Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson and set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as upcoming new properties The Eternals, due out later this year, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, set for 2021.
Dolittle opens January 17.