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Iron Man's Potential Return In Avengers: Secret Wars Divides Marvel Fans More Than You Think

Even though the franchise is now years past it, Iron Man's (Robert Downey Jr.) sacrifice in "Avengers: Endgame" remains the Marvel Cinematic Universe's biggest moment. With the Infinity Stones in hand, their unfathomable power coursing through him, he snaps his fingers and removes Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his underlings from the universe. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has made it clear that he won't resurrect RDJ's Iron Man in the future, but rumors have claimed otherwise. The idea of the actor and his character returning to the MCU via "Avengers: Secret Wars" has spread online, sowing division among Marvel fans.

For instance, folks in a Reddit thread by u/Herogeen have mixed feelings about such a comeback. "RDJ's gotta return. It wouldn't be the same if it's a different actor," commented u/TheLivingTribunal666, with others like u/FictionFantom going to bat for a "Secret Wars" scene featuring RDJ's Iron Man, Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, and Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man — the three tentpole castings of comic book movie history — together. On the other hand, some like u/MorningFirm5374 think bringing the actor back to play Iron Man would diminish the significance of his "Endgame" death. "I have seen him in 9 movies with a superb ending. I would like to see something new," added u/robertluke. Some would even support a recast rather than a return.

Odds are fans will continue to debate the logistics of Downey's return as Iron Man in the MCU until "Secret Wars" arrives, but what does the actor himself think of the idea?

Where does RDJ stand on an Iron Man comeback?

Since Iron Man's MCU tenure concluded in 2019, Robert Downey Jr. has tried out a handful of notable projects elsewhere in the film world. From the box office bomb "Dolittle" to "Oppenheimer," he has explored a range of roles vastly different from the MCU one he stuck with for over a decade. All the while, he has maintained that he has no urgent desire to return to the Marvel Studios fold, even expressing one complaint he had about playing Iron Man in the franchise. However, the actor seems to have somewhat changed his tune on the matter, implying that he's not entirely opposed.

Through Variety, Jodie Foster and Downey sat down to interview one another about a range of topics. Naturally, toward the end of their chat, she asked him if he has any intention of suiting up as Iron Man again. "It's just crazily in my DNA. Probably the most like-me character I've ever played, even though he's way cooler than I am. I've become surprisingly open-minded to the idea," he told her. With that, it appears that, for the first time in years, there's a real chance RDJ's Tony Stark could return to the MCU forefront.

There's a long wait to go until "Avengers: Secret Wars" reaches the big screen, with the film penciled in for a May 7, 2027 release. It'll be interesting to hear what else Robert Downey Jr. has to say about one more run as Iron Man — and how fan perception of the idea evolves — as that date inches closer.