‘Avengers: Endgame’: Is Robert Downey Jr. Really Done Playing Iron Man?

Avengers: Endgame, the fourth film in the Avengers franchise, will be coming to theaters on April 26. Fans are looking forward to seeing one of their favorite superhero teams after the madness that went down in Avengers: Infinity War.

While the future of the Avengers teammates looks bright, one of its iconic members may not be on board in any future films. 

It all started with ‘Iron Man’

Over a decade ago Marvel released the very first film in its phased-based rollout plan. That film was Iron Man featuring the sarcastic Tony Stark. Marvel felt like Robert Downey Jr. was the perfect actor to take on the CEO of Stark Industries.

Needless to say, they were right! Downey Jr. did a fantastic job at capturing the charismatic playboy in the debut film. Two years after Iron Man, Downey Jr. reprised the infamous role in Iron Man 2. Three years after that he once again tackled the character in Iron Man 3. Downey Jr. really did a fantastic job at bringing the genius inventor to life and even succeeded in showing the superhero’s growth throughout the films. What’s crazy is, despite being perfect for the part, he almost didn’t get it!

Iron Man joins ‘The Avengers’

The Sherlock Holmes actor did more than just appear in titular films. In 2012 Downey Jr. acted alongside an amazing roster of superheroes in The Avengers. The Oscar-nominated film featured an A-list lineup including Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Samuel L. Johnson as Nick Fury, and Gwyneth Paltrow as Stark’s love interest, Pepper Pots.  

The film pits the unlikely group of heroes against everyone’s favorite bad boy, Loki played by Tom Hiddleston. In the movie, they manage to work out their differences to take down the mischievous God and save humanity. The Avengers was extremely successful, becoming one of Marvel’s top-grossing films and a great stepping stone for several other films featuring the crew. 

Three years after the initial release, Avengers: Age of Ultron popped up in theaters. Then just last year Marvel released the third film chronicling The Avengers adventures, Avengers: Infinity War. Both movies added a few more iconic heroes to the roster, many of which met a questionable ‘end.’ War Machine (Don Cheadle), Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) are just a few who made an appearance in the sequel.

While Infinity War, which mashed up The Avengers with the Guardians of the Galaxy crew, brought out fan favorites like Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Stranger and Zoe Saldana’s Gamora.  

Other Marvel appearances

Stark was the main man in the Iron Man franchise and an essential part of the crew for The Avengers franchise. Marvel also had the snarky Stark make an appearance in some of its other cinematic experiences. In 2008, the same year as his superhero debut, Downey Jr. appeared in The Incredible Hulk. His part was so small he wasn’t credited for the role!

Downey Jr. also brought Iron Man to the big screen for Captain America: Civil War in 2016 and Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017. 

What’s next for Robert Downey Jr.?

The Oscar-nominated actor is wrapping up his Marvel appearances in Avengers: Endgame for now. It’s been quite a long run, but with his contract expiring and his love interest Pepper Pots dropping out of the franchise, it’s a perfect time for Stark to make his exit. Fans will have to wait to see Endgame to discover just how the hero will be making his exit. Considering they are getting together to take out Thanos, we’re sure he will go out with a bang.

But with his Marvel run coming to an end, what’s on the respected actor’s agenda? In 2020, Downey Jr. will be tackling Doctor Dolittle in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle. The film is currently in post-production. In 2021, fans of the Sherlock films can look forward to seeing him reprise his role as the infamous detective in Sherlock Holmes 3.

There are two more films on his roster that have not had their release years disclosed, All-Star Weekend and a biopic about John Brinkley. His role in the former has yet to be mentioned, but he will be taking on the titular character in the latter.

So, while fans are dismayed they won’t be seeing Stark anytime soon after Endgame, at least they will still be able to catch Downey Jr. doing his thing on the big screen.