Just months after the character died in Avengers: Endgame and Marvel Cinematic Universe star Robert Downey, Jr. bid a dramatic farewell to the franchise he helped to build, Downey says that fans may not have seen the last of his take on Tony Stark. During an appearance in support of Dolittle, which he made with his wife Susan, Downey told Extra that he is more or less done, but that you can never say never. While he said it somewhat casually, Susan immediately interjected to tell him that remark was going to be the next day's headline, with hose Renee Bargh voicing her agreement.
Downey first joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2008, when there was no such thing as a cinematic universe, just an Iron Man movie. He would play the role for more than ten years, appearing in ten movies during that time, with honorable mention to his appearance in archival footage in Spider-Man: Far From Home. It is possible he might pop up in some form in Black Widow, which is set in the past.
"Yeah, anything could happen. I'm really enjoying…" Downey said before his wife interjected. He continued, "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."
During Downey's time with Marvel, there were constant rumors that he was preparing an exit strategy, and after Iron Man 3, there were reports that it took some arm-twisting to get him to sign back on to do Captain America: Civil War. It is still not clear whether, or to what extent, those rumors were true, but now that he has exited the role, things have swung the other way. These comments from Downey come after comments by Jeff Goldblum, who claimed that Downey would return to provid the voice of Iron Man in an episode of What If...?. Marvel and Disney later walked back those comments.
Downey's Dolittle will be in theaters on January 17. Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in spring 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. Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk are also in the works for Disney+.