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There is no doubt that Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, will continue to affect the characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although Tony gave his life in Avengers: Endgame, his connection to the other heroes in the MCU, including Spider-Man (Tom Holland), means that his legacy will live on. While his story has seemingly ended, there has been a lot of rumors that Downey is seriously considering returning to the MCU in the near future, but only if one of his former co-stars comes back as well.

Robert Downey Jr
Robert Downey Jr. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Robert Downey Jr.’s asking price is reportedly too high

Tony’s journey came to a fitting conclusion in Endgame. Having Tony, a notoriously selfish character, give his life to save others was a great way to wrap up his story-arc. But that is not the last time fans see Tony in action.

Downey reportedly reprised the role for Scarlett Johansson’s upcoming film, Black Widow, which is set prior to the events in Endgame. The movie is due to open in theaters in May and could be the last time Downey appears as Iron Man in the MCU.

That said, inside sources claim that Robert Downey Jr. has been negotiating a return to the MCU. The only problem, per the sources, is that Downey is asking too much money to reprise the role.

Iron Man was the movie that launched the MCU back in 2008, and Downey’s performance has been a driving force behind Marvel’s success for the past decade. Despite his contributions, sources claim that Marvel is not interested in paying Downey.

Who else does Robert Downey Jr. want back if he returns to the MCU?

Apart from the money angle, Downey has reportedly asked the studio to bring back one of his favorite co-stars. According to We Got This Covered, the actor will only return to the MCU if Gwyneth Paltrow reprises her role as Pepper Potts.

Downey reportedly argued that Pepper’s story is hugely important to Tony, especially if they figure out a way to bring him back from the dead. He also allegedly asked Marvel to feature her more in previous movies.

The only issue with the request is that Paltrow has said that her time in the MCU is over. We can only hope that the actress would change her mind if Downey returns, but that could be something that makes or breaks the deal.

Downey, of course, has not commented on the rumors surrounding his return to the MCU. Until we hear something official, fans will just have to wait and see how this one shakes out.

What about Tom Holland?

Paltrow is not the only actor in the MCU who shares a close bond with Robert Downey Jr. Tom Holland, who was instrumental in keeping Peter Parker firmly in the MCU, is also good friends with Downey outside of work.

When Disney and Sony were negotiating a new deal for the Spider-Man franchise, for instance, Downey took time out of his busy schedule to go on a hike with Holland. The two also reportedly FaceTime on a frequent basis and pretty much have a friendship similar to what fans saw between Tony and Peter in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

With that in mind, sources claim that Robert Downey Jr. would love to work alongside Holland in a future MCU film. The studio doesn’t know how they would team them up, but they are reportedly thinking about ways to bring Tony back.

It is unclear if Downey’s contract demands will prevent his return to the MCU, but we can’t imagine the studio saying no.

Robert Downey Jr. reveals which Marvel character he really wanted to play

While we wait to see how things develop, Downey recently opened up about which character he really wants to play in the MCU.

Fans will forever associate Downey with Iron Man, yet he actually loved the idea of portraying Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) on the big screens.

“I can’t think of any red-blooded American boy that didn’t imagine themselves as Spider-Man growing up,’ he shared. “Which is fair enough. He continued: ‘However, looking back on it now – also because I’m just such a Jeremy Renner fan and he made it so cool, particularly when he turns into Ronin in Avengers: Endgame– I would say Hawkeye would be my go-to.”

It would be interesting to see Downey’s take on the character, though we are grateful that Marvel cast him as Iron Man instead.

Fans can reportedly watch Robert Downey Jr. return to action when Black Widow, starring Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, and Rachel Weisz, hits theaters on May 1.

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