Anthony and Joe Russo don’t seem to think that bringing back Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man to the MCU is a good idea

"It's called a Variant": Russo Brothers' Disheartening Statement on Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man Return Did Not Make Marvel Fans HappyCredits: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

Anthony and Joe Russo seem to think that the chapter on Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man is closed after his heroic sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame. When they learned that Downey Jr. hinted at his potential return to the MCU role, they were confused by the idea. The Gray Man directors revealed that they have no clue about how the cinematic universe would bring back the character.


Avengers: Infinity War directors Anthony and Joe Russo were not impressed with the idea of Robert Downey Jr. returning as Iron ManAvengers: Infinity War directors Anthony and Joe Russo were not impressed with the idea of Robert Downey Jr. returning as Iron Man
Fans were particularly disheartened by two of their favorite Marvel directors playing dumb to the concept of multiverse. The Russo brothers also directed the Sherlock Holmes star in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.

The Russo Brothers Make Fans Unhappy With Comments About Robert Downey Jr.’s MCU Return

Robert Downey Jr.'s final scenes in Anthony and Joe Russo's Avengers: EndgameRobert Downey Jr.’s final scene in Anthony and Joe Russo’s Avengers: Endgame
Robert Downey Jr. sent Marvel fans into peak happiness when he hinted at his potential return to the Iron Man role. However, among the few who did not take the news well were the Russo brothers. Anthony and Joe Russo gave an incredible end to the character arc that spanned for more than a decade. They were pretty sure that they closed the book on both Iron Man and Captain America.
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When GamesRadar caught up with the directors at the Sands International Film Festival in Scotland, their remarks made it clear that they were not entirely on board with the idea. While one Russo brother played dumb and shared that he had no idea how the character would be brought back from the dead, the other brother left it entirely up to Marvel to figure out how to open the closed chapter. Anthony Russo shared with GamesRadar:

“I don’t know how they would do it. I don’t know what the road to that would be.”

Joe Russo added:

“I mean we closed that book so it would be up to them to figure out how to reopen it.”

Fans on X were not happy with the Russos’ comments. They sarcastically tried explaining what a multiverse and variants mean to the Cherry directors. One fan shared that Marvel has options to bring back Downey Jr. without disrupting the Avengers: Endgame climax. Another fan shared that it was not hard to bring back another Iron Man variant considering the SSU had seven Spider-Men in one movie. Some fan reactions read:


It’s called a VARIANT

— kildareman (@GerardM45734427) April 26, 2024

Multiverse variants, time travel. They’ve got options.

— Brianna Dawn (@Captainstark_2) April 26, 2024

Cough Multiverse

— CBM SCENE (@mcuscene) April 26, 2024


They have 7 spider men in one movie.. Not too hard to figure it out

— Nerdcave77 (@Ceelow_eth) April 27, 2024

They can time travel and there’s different universes I’m pretty sure they could come up with something

— Dividend Rob (@DividendRob) April 27, 2024

The Russo brothers also told the outlet that Robert Downey Jr.’s Oscar win for Oppenheimer was “one of the great stories of redemption.” Praising the Dolittle actor, the Russos shared that he is a lovely, hard-working person and a generational actor.


Robert Downey Jr. Teases His Iron Man Return

Robert Downey Jr. hinted at his potential return to the Iron Man role (Image from Iron Man 3)Robert Downey Jr. hinted at his potential return to the Iron Man role (Image from Iron Man 3)
In a cover story for Esquire, Robert Downey Jr. made one revelation that would keep the hopes of Marvel fans sky-high. When asked if he would return to his Iron Man role in the MCU, Downey Jr. immediately replied, “Happily”. While his statement is not a confirmation of his appearance in any of the future MCU movies, he has let Marvel Studios know that he is available if the right story comes by.
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He also shared that the superhero suit of Iron Man is integral to his DNA and that he was not ready to give up on it anytime soon. He also expressed his confidence in Kevin Feige, stating that any bet against the Marvel boss is a losing bet. The Tropic Thunder actor told Esquire:

“Happily. It’s too integral a part of my DNA. That role chose me. And look, I always say, Never, ever bet against Kevin Feige. It is a losing bet. He’s the house. He will always win.”

Fans are hoping that the studio may bring Downey Jr. for an extended cameo in the Multiverse Saga finale. Avengers 5 and Avengers: Secret Wars is set to hit U.S. theaters on May 1, 2026, and May 7, 2027, respectively.