It’s hard to remember a time when Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t Iron Man. Back when the MCU was still in its infancy, I don’t think anyone, even Downey, ever thought that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would evolve into the phenomenon it is today. Now, some fourteen movies since Iron Man hit our screens in 2008, Downey hints that he may have plans to retire that famous red suit sometime soon.
Don’t freak out just yet. It won’t be that soon.
The 52 year-old actor will be seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which opened in theaters Friday, July 7, and is set to appear in the much-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War next May.
Beyond that, who knows, really, but Downey has now said that he would quit the Iron Man gig “before it’s embarrassing.” And honestly, after appearing in nearly half of the movies Marvel has put out, Downey’s logic seems perfectly reasonable. In an interview with News Corp Australia Network, Downey explains that he does not want to overstay his welcome, and will stick around as long as people need him and he’s engaged.
Downey explained to ABC News, however, that he would not hang his fellow MCU colleagues out to dry:
It's like with a team if you're going to hang up your jersey, you want to make sure the team is in good shape and they can still compete at a high level, because ultimately that's what made the whole thing worth doing anyways.
It may seem strange, even impossible, to envision an MCU without Iron Man; everyone on the internet has spent the last decade joking that RDJ and Tony Stark are basically synonymous, after all.
It’s exciting, however, to see what the future has in store for the franchise, with a new generation of superheroes ready to hit our screens.
As for Downey, the actor seems more than happy to pass the baton, describing his time on the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming as “a blast.” Catch him in Marvel’s newest cinematic feat when it opens in theaters tomorrow.