Robert Downey Jr. Isn’t Too Happy About His Black Widow Cameo

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Eyebrows were raised when it was announced that Robert Downey Jr. would appear as Tony Stark in Black Widow. The character had an incredible sendoff in Avengers: Endgame, Downey Jr.’s contract had expired and he’s repeatedly and firmly claimed that he’s done everything he could with the role (though he’s not ruling anything out). So, what gives?

Well, at least we know that Black Widow isn’t resurrecting Stark, as it’s set in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War and Tony would be alive and a prominent figure in the world. In fact, a big hint as to how he’s going to appear in the film came during a promotional interview with Entertainment Tonight, in which the interviewer asked him “should we buckle up?” for Stark’s return. Downey Jr. looked a bit nonplussed and responded:

“Right. Great. I mean, it would be nice if they notified me. Forewarned is forearmed. They can do anything now. This could be a deep fake interview for all we know.”

You don’t have to read between the lines too hard to figure out what’s happened here. Presumably, Disney and Marvel Studios have an ongoing deal with Downey Jr. to use his likeness in future movies. For example, the memorial posters in Spider-Man: Far From Home. But what the actor hadn’t anticipated is that they’d be willing and able to insert Tony Stark cameos into films without his approval. Judging by this, they didn’t even tell him they were planning to do it, so I can imagine his surprise at the announcement last year that he’d be in the movie.

Still, despite his obvious annoyance with putting him in a film without his consent, he’s clearly not willing to burn bridges with the studio. However, if he’s willing to say stuff like this in an interview, it indicates that there’ve most likely been some angry phone calls going on behind the scenes.

Whatever the case, this all but confirms that Tony Stark will have a very minimal role in Black Widow, most likely a quick shot at the start of the film to establish that this takes place post-Civil War. We’ll find out for certain on May 1st though, when it hits theaters.

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