If Robert Downey Jr. wanted to continue playing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Tony Stark, then he’d have kept on doing so. All it would have taken was a swift rewrite to see someone like Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers make the ultimate sacrifice at the end of Avengers: Endgame and the franchise’s longtime Iron Man would still be alive in continuity and show up wherever and wherever he pleases.
Of course, despite Downey Jr. going out on his own terms and saying he’d done all that he possibly could with the role, we’ve been bombarded by speculation almost since the credits rolled on Endgame that the actor would be making a swift return to reprise his career-defining part in the MCU.
The latest tidbit of speculation comes from insider Daniel Richtman, who proffers that Kevin Feige wants Tony Stark to cross paths with the Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards. Of course, as the man in charge of the entire operation, Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer tends to get his own way, but we shouldn’t overlook the fact that Feige literally said just a few months ago that he’s sad that the two aforementioned characters will never meet on screen.
Naturally, though, the talk of Downey Jr. making his grand return isn’t going to go away, while Jon Watts’ Fantastic Four reboot continues to trudge through pre-production, although development is expected to kick up several notches once the filmmaker finishes up his duties on Spider-Man: No Way Home. In any case, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a Tony/Reed interaction, and it’s not going to be the last by any means, either, but as always, the ball remains predominantly in RDJ’s court in regards to his mooted comeback.