It all started with Iron Man – the MCU, that is. From 2008, when Iron Man first hit theaters, to Avengers: Endgame in 2019, Robert Downey Jr. has been a mainstay in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
After over a decade, Iron Man’s cinematic story came to a conclusion with the end of the MCU’s Phase 4 last year. The character’s haunting scene of self-sacrifice while wearing the Infinity Stones in Endgame instantly became iconic, particularly his emotionally charged line, “I am Iron Man.” But it turns out that the powerful sequence wasn’t actually envisioned or shot that way during the film’s initial production. The scene originally called for Tony Stark to snap his fingers without saying a word, but during the editing process, the movie’s directors, the Russo Brothers, felt something was missing and asked RDJ to come back to film the scene again. Now, reshoots are common in Hollywood, but to redo such a gripping part of the movie, one that is so crucial to the film and the character’s arc, is something else. We can only assume that it must have been an extremely emotional day for RDJ to step back into that suit for another go at such a seminal scene.
The Russo Brothers recently shared a short video from that day, which ended up being RDJ’s final day on set. As you can see, RDJ is beloved not only by fans, but everyone who works on the MCU movies, too! Check out the short clip below:
Though Iron Man’s fate in Endgame was pretty clear, there’s been rumors that RDJ may make an appearance in future MCU movies, particularly the upcoming Black Widow, which has been pushed to November. The Russo Brothers recently talked to the ReelBlend podcast about the possibility of the character returning in the future, stressing that a move like that would have to make sense, both narratively and emotionally, given his character’s fate in Endgame. Here’s what they said:
“I mean look, certainly we’ve always said this and we believe this about stakes have to be real, and if they’re not real, like the audience’s emotional investment in the moment and in those characters in the narrative is only…is contingent upon them feeling like there’s potential, there’s something to be lost.
“So in all of our storytelling, even though those Marvel movies a lot of the story was difficult, we wanted to commit very hard to that idea. So to answer your question, I think it would be in the context of that. It depends on how he was brought back. It depends on the storytelling, but it is certainly something that has to be earned.
It’s certainly something that would shock and surprise audiences, so you can’t simply just bring him back. There would have to be a really compelling, innovative, unpredictable narrative event to find your way there in order for it to be worth it.”
We’ll just have to wait and see if the stars align in the future!