Robert Downey Jr. was once best known for his checkered past, before bringing life one of the most memorable superheroes in history, his take on Iron Man/Tony Stark. Much to the dismay of fans around the world, the character was killed in “Avengers: Endgame,” and in a wide-ranging profile of the star, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said he won’t be coming back.
As Feige put it, “We all worked very hard for many years to get to that, and we would never want to magically undo it in any way.”
The interview comes as rumors have spread that the original Avengers may be set to return in a future Marvel Studios project. Chris Evans said Monday that a report indicating Marvel wanted to bring back the original six Avengers wasn’t one he knew anything about.
“You know, I always see those reports too, and it’s news to me,” Evans said. “I think every couple months, someone says that they’re getting Downey, and Hemsworth, and Scarlet [Johansson], and everyone’s coming back!”
Feige’s sentiment seems to be how Downey wants it, too. The actor didn’t want to do reshoots or record more dialogue for “Endgame,” said codirector Joe Russo.
“We’d already said tearful goodbyes on the last day of shooting. Everybody had moved on emotionally,” Russo said. “We promised him it would be the last time we made him do it — ever.”
Eventually, added Anthony Russo, the actor had to come in to record another line.
“That was a difficult thing for him to do, to come back to pick up that line,” Anthony Russo related. “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.”
In the years that followed “Endgame,” the actor declined role after role. This lasted for three years until the opportunity to star in “Oppenheimer” presented itself.
Director Christopher Nolan said of Downey, “I knew that he was capable of complete naturalism, of completely stripping away some of that charm, some of that persona, and losing himself in a real character.”