Robert Downey Jr. may have hung up the red and chrome helmet after ten blockbuster appearances in Disney’s superhero franchise, but Joe Rogan believes he’s found a way to bring him back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With Downey’s next major film release, Dolittle, dropping this week, the Marvel star has once again found himself in the headlines less than a year after (spoilers) he sacrificed himself as Tony Stark to stop Thanos in Avengers: Endgame.
Ironman joined a small group of characters that had died across the 23-film series, including Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and Paul Bettany’s Vision, but Joe Rogan said he thinks the door to RDJ playing the iconic hero “isn’t quite shut.”
“I don’t believe it is, you guys can travel through time now, you’ve already opened up that potential door,” Rogan said, and laid out exactly how he imagined the leader of the Avengers could storm back onto the silver screen.
“Here’s how I see it,” he continued. “They go through a few semi-lackluster Avengers movies without you, and there’s a moment where the world’s at stake, and they realize they need a super-genius… and then they figure out how to restart that time machine.
“The audience sees you, imagine when you step out of that thing. The way people would freak out when you came out of that thing. Take a few years off, do a few Doctor Dolittes, a few Sherlock Holmes, and then think about it.”
“Let me ask the question then – if I picked the jersey back up and put it back on, wouldn’t you feel a little bit like… crap,” Downey Jr. shot back, and added he would have to be given a “super compelling argument” to change his mind.
“To me, starting up that character again is off the table. I feel like I’ve done all that I can with that character, and it would take a really good series of events to change that. And the other thing is, I want to do other stuff, too!”
“It’s just incredible, our culture never encourages taking a break, never encourages saying ‘don’t chase that thing,’ and I love the idea that if you are good at what you do, then it’s not about time, it’s about deciding when to pick up the mantle.”
According to Downey, he may also be the furthest he ever has been from wanting to return to the red-and-chrome armor of one of Earth’s mightiest heroes.
After months of press tours and red carpets for his final Avengers outing, he finally got to sit down for a dinner with Johansson, Jon Favreau, Kevin Feige, and VFX digital specialist Victoria Alonso this week and “say goodbye.”
“I think it was the perfect time [to leave Ironman behind]… I had dinner with a few of the Marvel folks the other day, had some crudités and talked sh*t, and I got to have another moment of closure,” the Ironman star revealed.
“I saw all these videos of people freaking out and losing their minds when Tony snapped [the Infinity Gauntlet] and I realized it was such a massive cultural thing, but then I had that dinner and it felt like closing the circle for the last time, a bit.”
For Marvel fans, the news that Ironman may never again return to the big screen with Robert Downey Jr. behind the mask may be disappointing, but that doesn’t mean the Cinematic Universe is coming to an end by any means.
In fact, it seems like Disney’s series is still very much on the rise. The Johansson-led Black Widow is set to release in April, and ‘WandaVision’ and ‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’ are both expected on Disney Plus later this year, too.
Basically, it’s the perfect time to be a superhero fan — franchise-leading names like RDJ and Chris Evans may have stepped away after Endgame, but Fiege’s vision for an ever-growing MCU doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.