Robert Downey Jr. may have publicly claimed that he’d done all he could with the role of Iron Man and was looking forward to starting the next chapter of his career, but that won’t do anything to stop the speculation from making the rounds that a return as Tony Stark might happen one day in the future, especially when his first post-MCU effort saw Dolittle bomb hard at the box office and receive brutal reviews.
Indeed, people retire from roles all the time before being tempted back by either a great script or a big pile of cash, with Ben Affleck ending his self-imposed exile as Batman to suit up for the Snyder Cut of Justice League and The Flash. Actors also have a frustrating habit of denying that they’re playing a certain part before being announced shortly after, as we saw with Mads Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald and Tatiana Maslany’s She-Hulk.
On that note, insider Daniel Richtman now claims that RDJ is being lined up for a comeback in upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney Plus series Armor Wars, which is the one that makes the most sense from a storytelling perspective. Don Cheadle’s Rhodey has always been inextricably linked to his onscreen best friend, after all, while the plot hinges on Stark Industries technology falling into the wrong hands.
Also, if Downey Jr. was to cameo in Armor Wars, it theoretically wouldn’t lessen the impact of Iron Man making the ultimate sacrifice at the end of Avengers: Endgame, because Tony could appear in flashbacks, as a hologram or as the voice of Riri Williams’ Ironheart armor as per the comics, which would keep him dead in continuity but allow fans to see him back on their screens, even just for a little while.