Robert Downey Jr. is not returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the matter has now been settled for good by the man behind Marvel Studios.
During a centerpiece spread by Vanity Fair for the actor, the filmmakers behind the Avengers movie say Tony Stark is gone for good.
“We are going to keep that moment and not touch that moment again,” Feige said in the Downey Jr. profile. “We all worked very hard for many years to get to that, and we would never want to magically undo it in any way.”
Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo added, “We’d already said tearful goodbyes on the last day of shooting. Everybody had moved on emotionally. We promised him it would be the last time we made him do it—ever.”
Fellow co-director Anthony Russo noted that for Downey Jr., it was a “difficult thing” for him to say the now-iconic last line: “When he did come back, we were shooting on a stage directly opposite where he auditioned for Tony Stark. So his last line as Tony Stark was shot literally a couple hundred feet from his original audition that got him the role.”
The next Marvel film set for release will be Deadpool 3, a multiverse adventure that introduces the iconic Fox-era character into the MCU.
As for Downey Jr., he is currently campaigning for a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his work in Oppenheimer.