Robert Downey Jr’s association with Marvel as Iron Man has been really long.The Avengers: Endgame actor became an integral part of all the MCU discussions since he started to prove his worth in this multi-billion saga. But do y’all know back in 2013, he almost quit the franchise?
In 2012, Kevin Feige, who happens to be the President of Marvel hinted at MCU’s future without Robert Downey Jr. He said during a press meet, “I think Bond is a good example. Let’s put it this way: I hope Downey makes a lot of movies for us as Stark. If and when he doesn’t, and I’m still here making these movies, we don’t take him to Afghanistan and have him wounded again. I think we James Bond it.”
Some harsh words coming in for Robert Downey Jr here? Ouch.
Nonetheless, in an interview with the Empire, the Avengers: Endgame actor reacted to Kevin Feige’s comments. “It would probably be the best thing in the world for me. You know, ego… but sometimes ego just has to be smashed. Let’s see what happens. I take the audience very seriously – I feel bad when I see folks doing movies and the audience is like, ‘Don’t do that anymore.’ I don’t have to overstay my welcome..,” said Robert Downey Jr.
Speaking to GQ in 2013, Iron Man actor revealed that he hasn’t been confirmed for further Marvel movies and said, “Fortunately I’ve been around the block enough—I’m not ill-prepared. And I love change. I love it when a lightning bolt hits the genny and you’re down for two hours on the set. Now, this isn’t a lightning strike, this is like the warning of a gathering storm.”
Apparently, RDJ’s contract with Marvel got expired with Iron Man 3 which came in 2013 and he was a little skeptical about the same.
Owing to an injury on the sets of Iron Man 3, Downey in the same interview, mentioned that soon enough he’ll be too old to play superheroes in films and said, “Got me thinking about how big the message from your cosmic sponsor needs to be before you pick it up. How many genre movies can I do? How many follow-ups to a successful follow-up are actually fun? Because, as quiet as it’s kept, I come from a family of very innovative writers and directors and actors and artists, and the circle of friends they were in were the people I heard having pun-offs playing poker at two in the morning, and it was just the most comforting aspect of my childhood. So there’s this kind of legacy of souls from what I consider to be a very particular time in entertainment, and I’m sensing a return to that—it’s what me and the missus are doing next.”
Although, Marvel renewed RDJ’s contract and he wasn’t seen in a solo film but starred in prominent roles including films like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.
Reportedly, Downey stood for his co-actors when they were negotiating their contracts with Marvel. In an interview with The Empire, the Avengers actor spoke about playing small roles in MCU and said, “They said to me, ‘If we have you, we can do this, or Cap 3 has to be something else.’ It’s nice to feel needed. And at this point, it’s about helping each other, too. I look at it as a competition and I go, ‘Wow, maybe if these two franchises teamed up and I can take even a lesser position, with people I like and directors I respect, maybe we can keep things bumping along.”
He finally bid goodbye to MCU in 2019 with Avengers: Endgame but will be seen in a cameo in Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow that releases this year in November.