Robert Downey Jr. Breaks Silence on Missing the Marvel Universe

It's been over three years since Robert Downey Jr. last appeared as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and while the MCU's story moves forward without the iconic Avenger, fans miss the actor's presence in the franchise. As it turns out, there are things about Marvel Universe that Downey misses, too. In an interview with Deadline about the Netflix documentary about his father, filmmaker Robert Downey Sr., the actor reveals he misses the people the most.

"What I miss most? Being in the trenches with Kevin Feige throughout; the beginning with Jon Favreau, it's like a beautiful dream now; the middle, with Shane Black on Iron Man 3, we'd just had Exton and shot it mostly in Wilmington, NC," Downey said. "It was idyllic and subversive. And The End, when I realized I'd made so many close friends in the MCU cast, and the Russo Brothers helping me embrace Tony's arc."

Will Robert Downey Jr. ever return to the MCU?

At this point, it remains to be seen if Downey will ever return to the MCU, though there are some upcoming projects where it would be more possible than others. One is the upcoming Ironheart series where fans have wondered if the actor could return as the AI version of Tony Stark, comparable to the comics storyline involving the character and Riri Williams/Ironheart (Dominique Thorne). However, Thorne has previously said that the series is diverting just a bit from the source material.

"They definitely are similar, but definitely two independent expressions of this beautiful mind," the actor told us earlier this month. "I think the answer to that is best left to the series next year, so that's where you'll have to come for the truthful answer to that question."

"I do think in Riri's creation of this suit, or pursuing a build like that, I think that there's an inherent acknowledgment of what Tony Stark did by creating this suit of armor," Thorne added. "I think for someone as ambitious as Riri Williams, it's without a doubt something that draws you in and begs your attention. As you can tell from the movie, that ambition will lead where it will lead and this time it's led to her being in line with him by creating her very own suit of armor."

There is also the opportunity in the upcoming Armor Wars, something that Don Cheadle has previously spoken about.

"The death of Tony Stark, I'm pretty sure, will play a role in the series," Cheadle said during an interview with BroBible last year. "Where we've been sort of progressing Rhodey—even in the last film where he's now up again and he's now walking again and he's now mobile again—so as the technology continues to develop and we keep making innovations in the suit and what happens, I imagine there's gonna be another elevation and another way that we're going to keep digging into that part of Rhodey," he said. "But really, figuring out a way to bridge what's happening in the comic books with what's happening on screen in the MCU and how we're going to make those worlds work, that's really exciting."

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The documentary about Robert Downey Sr, Sr., is now streaming on Netflix.