Robert Downey Jr., more affectionately known to his fans as RDJ, has a solid reputation thanks to movies such as Sherlock Holmes, Gothika, and even Zodiac. What earned him icon status, though, was his star turn in the Iron Man series as Tony Stark. RDJ started in the role back in 2008 with the first Iron Man movie, and played him in ten Marvel films until the character’s death in 2019 during Avengers: Endgame.
As sad and heartbroken as fans were to see his death play out, RDJ was apparently just as attached to his character as he cried when he found out what would happen in his last Marvel film. Kevin Feige and the rest of the Marvel execs had a plan in motion for the character, and we saw it unfold during Infinity War and Endgame.
As conveyed in Marvel’s behind-the-scenes book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, via ScreenRant, RDJ was moved by the plan for how Stark would go out.
“When the Russos’ presentation to Downey Jr. got to Tony Stark’s last moments, their nerves began to fade. But their belief in the story was solidified,” the narrative went.
“When we started winding down the pitch, and getting to his death, Robert started crying,” shared Joe Russo via the book. “And when we were done, he said ‘That’s f–king awesome.’ That’s when we knew that we had to do it. Because he felt it.”
After the snap that took away half of human life, RDJ’s character, Tony Stark felt defeated and went home to Pepper Potts. Then, during the five-year time jump, the two had a daughter, Morgan. When the Avengers came back to ask Tony for help, his daughter was the reason he initially said no. When he did finally agree, that was his one stipulation, he wanted to keep his daughter and keep the time they’d had together. After figuring out how he could get time travel to work, it was off to the races to save the half of the population that Thanos had snapped away.
As all MCU fans know, Stark was the one to sacrifice himself in the end. He used the Infinity Stones to bring back everyone that was lost during the snap, but killed himself in the process. Of course, fans got the emotional goodbye scenes between him and Peter Parker as well as Pepper, but nothing will beat the funeral scene or the holographic goodbye meant for his daughter and the rest of the Avengers.
It seems as though it wasn’t just the fans that were attached to the character though, as RDJ has been open about how much he loved the role. There may have been doubts about the sincerity of his attachment, but tears are real, even from an actor. He didn’t even want to return for reshoots of the famous, “I am Iron Man” scene because it was so emotional!
Robert Downey Jr., will forever be remembered in the Tony Stark role that helped make the MCU what it is today. He did all of us Marvel fans a huge service, launching what is now one of the biggest franchises worldwide. So, while it was emotional losing such an integral part of the MCU, RDJ, Tony Stark and Iron Man will forever be a part of the MCU’s lasting legacy for fans.