Robert Downey Jr.'s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Iron-Man is truly iconic, so much so that fans want him to return even if his character has already died.
In 2008, Marvel Studios started what would turn out to be an inconic franchise when they released RDJ's first MCU film "Iron Man." He was once a controversial choice for the role of Tony Stark, but eventually, he became a legend as he stood there as the father of all the MCU superheroes.
He then joined the list of the pioneers and original actors of the franchise.
For more than a decade, his legacy has continuously touched the hearts of fans. His last role in "Avengers: Endgame" even made several supporters start various petitions to see him again on the big screen.
RDJ is set to do a cameo as Tony Stark in "Black Widow," and he might voice the character in the Disney Plus series "Ironheart."
In 2019, he also finished recording his lines for a Disney Plus episode of "What If...?" series, which was released to the streaming site earlier this 2020.
These recent projects caused fans to happily speculate that it is not the end for RDJ yet. Unfortunately, something opposite is allegedly happening.
Following his character's dreadful death, Marvel Studios is reportedly moving on without him by casting a new Iron Man. Since the MCU has now reached Phase 4, they are now planning to introduce a slew of new characters this time, pushing RDJ's name away.
Sources from We Got This Covered claimed that, instead of giving the 55-year-old RDJ the role, Marvel is eyeing for a younger version of Tony for their "Secret Wars" project.
The insider added that Marvel is in the process of adapting the comic book storyline.
Despite that, fans are hopeful that RDJ will continue to be part of the franchise, especially when no one is "ever dead and gone" in the original comic books created by the late comic book writer Stan Lee.
What RDJ Wants
RDJ already told Digital Spy before that he has retired from the MCU.
"We had to get off. We opted to, and knew it was part of the job to get off the bus while it rolled on to other destinations. There's something very sobering about it," he said. "I'm glad [Chris Evans] and I will be there to welcome others as they retire their jerseys."
However, he also once declared that he is still open to reprise the role anytime soon.
During his "Dolittle" press tour, RDJ told Extra's Renee Bargh that he is not totally closing the door on the possibility of doing his role as Iron Man again.
"Anything could happen," the actor said that time. "As far as I'm concerned, I hung up my guns and I'm good to let it go."
RDJ also noted that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is trying to produce unique stuff these days, thus, making it hard for fans to be sure whether Iron Man will be part of the MCU Phase 4.
Now, fans can only hope to see their favorite Marvel superhero again in the near future.