The comic book genre has never found death to be a particularly difficult obstacle to overcome, and in the case of characters who always stay dead like Batman’s parents, we’ll just be forced to watch Thomas and Martha Wayne get gunned down in a Gotham City alleyway every few years or so instead.
Robert Downey Jr. is the biggest name, highest-paid star, launchpad for the entire franchise and focal point of the marketing for every movie he appeared in, so even though he gracefully bowed out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at the end of Avengers: Endgame, the 55 year-old is always going to find himself linked with a return, especially when Tony Stark’s shadow continues to loom large over the interconnected comic book series.
And while RDJ may have said in a recent interview that he’s done all he can with Stark, let’s not forget that Mads Mikkelsen denied he was replacing Johnny Depp as Grindelwald and Tatiana Maslany said she hadn’t been cast as She-Hulk, and we all know how those two things turned out. Which is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones who told us War Machine and Ms. Marvel shows were in the works before either of them were announced, and that Luke Skywalker would appear in The Mandalorian – that the Dolittle star has signed on for a return in Ironheart.
Of course, from a storyline perspective, this makes total sense, seeing as the titular hero is directly inspired and influenced by Stark’s armored alter ego, and the MCU’s version of Iron Man already has a well established precedent for taking teenage prodigies under his wing. The extent of his involvement in the project remains unclear, and a full-scale comeback seems very unlikely, but don’t rule out a voice role as an AI or some sort of cameo. In any case, we’re told that he’s definitely on board for Ironheart and we’ll just have to wait and see now in what capacity he shows up.