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Though Robert Downey Jr. recently departed the Marvel Cinematic Universe — bidding the landscape Farwell in Avengers: Endgame — Stark remains a fixture in fans’ minds. His character cemented the foundation for the filmscape’s expansion and was vital to several of the MCU’s most intriguing and integral interpersonal dynamics. As for one of those dynamics, fans quickly fell for the father-son bond between Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and Downey’s Stark. 

Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr MCU
Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. | Todd Williamson / Contributor

Though Stark always seemed a little resilient to compassion and concern — outside Pepper Potts — Parker squeezed into his heart. And, when Parker faded into the abyss, slipping from Tony’s arms in Infinity War, there wasn’t dry eye in the house. Based on Holland’s relationship with Downey, as well as Downey’s influence over the MCU, Tom Holland’s phone contact for RDJ is perfect. 

Tom Holland has RDJ in his phone as ‘The Godfather’ 

CinemaBlend noted that Tom Holland has quite the nickname for Downey. Holland stated: 

He’s The Godfather in my phone. Yeah, he’s like, RDJ The Godfather. Yeah, that’s what I have him as.

While Downey’s Stark doesn’t necessarily boast the mob mentality inherent to The Godfather films, Holland is likely going for a different implication — one that accounts for Stark’s presence in the landscape, as well as Holland’s relationship with Downey. As for Tony’s presence in the landscape, one could argue that he is The Godfather of the MCU — ushering in the other heroes and paving the way for their significance in future installments. 

Without RDJ and the success of the very first Iron Man, Kevin Feige’s beautiful vision for the MCU would have never come to fruition. Now, three phases are in the past, and Phase 4 will connect small-screen ventures with the silver screen. Yet, aside from playing a pivotal character who is a father figure to Parker, RDJ has also served as a mentor (and a support system) to Tom Holland. 

Inside Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr.’s relationship 

RDJ and Tom Holland recently appeared together in Dolittle; Holland played the friendly dog — man’s best friend. Could you think of a better character dynamic for these two? Maybe, they work so well across from one another because of their off-screen relationship. 

Holland has explained that Downey has been a supportive influence in his life. As NewsBreak notes, Tom Holland said:

He was really sweet and he kind of looked after me and took me under his wing a little bit…Entering the Marvel Universe is daunting, it’s a big process.


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Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. have appeared in interviews together — always joking with one another — and their bond has grown stronger with time. Thus, Tom Holland has his own, likely personal reasons, for calling RDJ “The Godfather.” When you think about it, it’s quite adorable. And hopefully one day, a casting director will plant these two in a movie as father and son (sooner rather than later).