Almost every MCU hero got to step into the spotlight for at least a little bit in Avengers: Endgame, but with the possible exception of Captain America, the main player in the recent epic was without a doubt Iron Man. And even though Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark met his maker at the end of the film, the fans haven’t given up hope that maybe one day, he could return.
Indeed, the web has already been flooded with theories on how RDJ could still have a presence in the MCU, but here to put all that to bed now is co-director Joe Russo. While speaking to ComicBook.com, the filmmaker was asked if there’s any chance we’ll see Robert Downey Jr. again in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and his answer was short and to the point.
“Tony’s dead, you know?” the director explained. “That’s it for Robert. He’s done.”
If that wasn’t clear enough, Endgame‘s credits also conclude with the sound of a hammer clanking against iron, which the Russo Brothers have already told us was their own special way of saying goodbye to Tony Stark and honoring the hero who kicked the whole franchise off.
And just for the few of you who are still holding onto that last shred of hope that maybe Stark’s story isn’t done yet, co-writer Christopher Markus said last week that he felt the opening third of Endgame already gave Tony “the perfect retirement life,” meaning that Stark’s eventual demise didn’t “feel like a tragedy” for them. Instead, it felt “like a heroic, finished life” and the perfect end to his story.
So in short, Tony Stark is no more, and though some have speculated that Robert Downey Jr. could still perhaps reprise the role somewhere down the road as an AI version of the character, or something along those lines, Joe Russo makes it pretty clear here that the actor’s done with the MCU and Avengers: Endgame was indeed his final outing.