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The other superhero Robert Downey Jr. would like to play

Over the course of 11 years and 10 feature films, Robert Downey Jr. gave heroic life to the Marvel Cinematic Universe's O.G. superhero Iron Man. During his tenure as the iron-suited savior, Downey Jr. also became one of the biggest stars on the planet – serving not just as the face of the Iron Man franchise, but also the MCU at large. After a tear-jerking goodbye in last year's Avengers: Endagame, it appears RDJ's days in the iron suit are officially at an end (though rumors persist that he'll cameo in Black Widow). 

Whether or not RDJ ever portrays Iron Man again, there's at least one other Marvel hero he'd love to play. In a recent interview with BBC Radio 1after being prompted by a precocious, Spider-Man-loving 10-year-old, RDJ first revealed that he couldn't "think of any red-blooded American boy that didn't imagine themselves as Spider-Man growing up." But Spidey isn't the hero he'd like to play. Downey Jr. went on to explain, "However, looking back on it now — also because I'm just such a Jeremy Renner fan, and he made it so cool, particularly when he turns into Ronin [in Endgame] — I would say Hawkeye would be my go-to."

Yeah, we're a little bit surprised by that answer as well. Not so much because we don't dig Renner's Hawkeye (he was pretty cool in full-on Ronin mode), but because Downey Jr. seems more of a quippy Ant-Man type than the super-serious Clint Barton. But hey, that's just us. After RDJ's decade-long transformation from arrogant rogue into the MCU's most selfless hero, he's free to stan whichever Marvel super he likes. Now, who's gonna ask him which MCU villain he'd want to play? 

Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye days are numbered, too

While it's intriguing to think about what a Downey Jr. take on Hawkeye would look and feel like, Jeremy Renner still has some work to do as the arrow-flinging hero. Renner is set to pick up his bow and arrow once again when he appears on the upcoming Disney+ series Hawkeye. While Marvel and Disney are keeping big details about the streaming series under wraps, what we do know of Hawkeye makes it clear Renner's days as the vigilante are coming to an end sooner rather than later.

One of the few concrete details that have emerged about Hawkeye is that it will introduce Kate Bishop into the increasingly crowded Marvel realm. And if you know anything about Kate Bishop from Marvel comics, you know she's the heir-apparent to the Hawkeye alias and has been a core member of the Young Avengers almost since day one.

Kate's arrival in the MCU would also cement the idea that Marvel is currently entrenched in a legit youth movement that's building to a Young Avengers team-up flick — possibly including Hulkling, America Chavez, and Stature, among others — so make of that what you will. Renner is seemingly about to pass on his Hawkeye mantle to another actor, and given Downey Jr.'s Iron Man died at the end of Avengers: Endgame and Marvel's presumed goal of bringing younger heroes to the big screen, RDJ has undoubtedly missed his window to play Hawkeye. 

While the role of Kate Bishop has yet to be officially cast, but reports claim that Hailee Steinfeld may be the young star who'll be slinging Hawkeye's arrows for the foreseeable future. Hawkeye is currently slated to make its Disney+ debut in the fall of 2021.