Robert Downey Jr. was famed for his machine gun rapid style of dialogue delivery before he ever looked at a mechanized suit of robot armor, and he’s apparently continued that trend in his appearances in the various MCU films.
A new study has tallied up the lines spoken by each of the original six Avengers (Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk/Banner, Thor and Hawkeye) and Stark tops the charts by quite a long way in each movie. The only one where he doesn’t have a runaway victory is Captain America: Civil War, as he’s (appropriately enough) nearly beaten by Cap, who has approximately 165 lines to Iron Man’s 175. Everywhere else, though, he’s way out in front.
This actually makes sense for a number of reasons. First is that Tony Stark often functions as a kind of exposition machine to the other characters as well as blustering and charming his way through various situations. Secondly, with the amount that Disney and Marvel Studios are paying him, you can damn well bet they’re going to get every penny’s worth out of his performance.
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Some other interesting things that can factor into this graph is noticing just how little time is devoted to Captain America in Avengers: Infinity War. Judging by what we see here, it seems that Thor’s occupied the place in the script that he’d normally take, with his role pared back to just a handful of moments. We’ll no doubt be seeing some kind of resolution to Cap’s arc in Avengers 4, so let’s hope Chris Evans gets to spend a little more time in the limelight.
With rumors constantly swirling that Stark won’t make it to the credits of Avengers 4, perhaps we could see a bit of democratization of the MCU in Phase 4 and beyond. After all, Downey Jr.’s Iron Man was an enormous factor in the franchise’s success and audiences want to see more of him. But if Marvel’s run their course with the character, then we could potentially see some scripts that spend a bit more time exploring other heroes down the road.