Robert Downey Jr reveals what it would take for Iron Man return
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Avengers: Endgame brought Tony Stark’s arc to an end after he first kicked off the MCU with 2008’s Iron Man. His emotional farewell was a real tearjerker for audiences 11 years on, made all the better with his famous callback, “I am Iron Man.” It’s the line that cemented his charmingly egotistical character at the end of his original film and perfectly punctuated the ending. However, in a new interview, Robert Downey Jr shared a few quips that thankfully didn’t make the final cut for his Iron Man death scene.
During an interview on the Hyphchondriactor podcast, the 56-year-old star shared some of the other ideas for his Thanos-defying moment. Iron Man’s snap [the reverse snap was Hulk’s snap earlier in the film] is now considered one of the most iconic scenes in all of the MCU, and to help get it right, countless lines were considered.
Initially, the writing team wanted a quip that was very in keeping with Stark’s character, with one being “You are so f****d up.” More embarrassingly, they even went down the pun route at one point, with the Avenger remarking, “Oh, snap” before clicking his fingers,
Downey Jr regarded these options as “smart-ass” lines, but they feel more in tune with a younger version of the character. One of the main arcs of the Avengers movies is Tony’s shift from arrogant socialite to a man that is haunted by his mistakes and driven to be better.
It’s one of the main reasons he became so popular, as he continued to grow and change with each new film, just as the universe at large continued to evolve from a more grounded technology-based series into a mega-franchise that includes cosmic beings, talking raccoons and literal magic.
Eventually though, “I am Iron Man” was chosen as it “put a bookend” on the character’s arc. Downey added: “I love a bookend.”
At least for now, the return of Iron Man seems off the cards over at Marvel, as the studio continues to push new characters such as Shang-Chi and the Eternals. Downey Jr has also continually rejected the idea because, after all, it would ruin the bookend he so clearly loves.
Similarly, Marvel boss Kevin Feige once addressed the importance of death in the MCU, admitting Iron Man’s was particularly inspired by the demise of Wolverine in Logan.
Speaking to Empire Magazine, he explained: “There was some sense that deaths don’t matter in our movies – Nick Fury gets shot and died in Winter Soldier and comes back in the third act, which was awesome, but is not a death. People were clamouring for, not death necessarily, but stakes and real emotion.”
He added: “We saw Logan like the audience did […] and went, ‘Oh my god, what an amazing ending for Hugh as this character.’ There are only a handful of examples where an actor so associated with a character can go out perfectly […] that’s what we desperately wanted to give Robert, and that was what our focus was on.”
Hugh Jackman, who starred as the X-Men’s staple Wolverine, played the role for 17 years, dwarfing that of Downey Jr’s 11-year tenure. The Australian actor was beloved by millions of fans, and his send-off in Logan was both a critical and commercial success.
It is not a surprise Feige wanted to emulate it with Iron Man, and audiences can be grateful that the Tony Stark star’s alternative lines were axed in the final cut.
The Iron Man trilogy and Avengers films are available to watch on Disney Plus
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