Multiple Ways Robert Downey Jr. Return in MCU:
Iron Man got the biggest exit a superhero could ever get. His death turned out to be even more tear-jerking than that of Logan. But many people have argued that they didn’t have their fair share of Iron Man. The world would’ve liked to see some more. Maybe an Iron Man 4 would’ve been nice. But the larger narrative of the MCU had to move forward and so an Iron Man 4 never happened. Apparently, recent reports have suggested that there’s actually a possibility of Robert Downey Jr. returning to the MCU.
After his grand exit from the MCU, Downey stated that he is willing to take on other roles. Dolittle & Sherlock are the ones he got himself attached to. But after the massive failure of Dolittle, recent reports have suggested that Downey is actually willing to lower his price tag for an MCU return. And his two conditions are that he’d be willing to work with Gwyneth Paltrow & Tom Holland. Well, if he has to return then let’s discuss the multiple ways in which he could be back:
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will finally take a deep dive into the multiverse. It is believed that we will see alternate versions of familiar MCU heroes. So, Robert Downey Jr. could return as Tony Stark from an alternate Universe. It might only be a cameo, but it’d make sense.
Gamora died in Avengers: Infinity War. Then we saw Gamora from the past make her way to the present times. The same logic could be applied to Tony. Apparently, the same version of Tony Stark that we grew to love can return in the MCU through time travel.
Flashbacks & Prequels
Black Widow is a prequel story and it will have a Tony Stark cameo recycled from old footage that was shot during Civil War. Similarly, other prequel films could bring Tony Stark back. Or if Robert Downey Jr. wishes to work along with Tom Holland, then we could see an important flashback sequence.
The Ironheart origin story in the comics had an A.I. of Tony Stark. Apparently Tony’s A.I. becomes the mentor to young Riri Williams and helps her become her own hero. She could join the Young Avengers and what not after getting her own Disney+ series. Downey’s price cut would make sense here as he would either have to voice Tony’s A.I. or return as a walking talking hologram as it was teased in Avengers: Endgame. Although, the one thing that won’t make sense is that why does Riri Williams get this A.I. if it exists? Clearly Morgan & Pepper should get it as a memory of Tony. The second choice should be Peter. But since Peter got EDITH, perhaps a Tony Stark A.I. doesn’t exist. If it does, then the Ironhear series could reveal that Pepper and Morgan already have it. Let’s see what happens.
Even though we’d like to see more from Iron Man, one could argue that he should not return after the kind of exit he got in Endgame. Any kind of return would undermine his sacrifice and lower the stakes for future films. If everyone keeps returning from the dead, then the value of human lives and sacrifices will be lost. The multiverse is why the Arrowverse lost its value. And it could be why the MCU does too.
To prevent that from happening, Marvel should resist bringing back a lot of major deadbeats. Already Black Widow is coming back for one more film. Vision & Quicksilver will probably be back for more than one outing. Gamora is already back and Loki will also be back for more. So if Tony also comes back, then the only one who will stay permanently dead is Yondu. And that shouldn’t be the case in the MCU. The MCU needs to grow with newer heroes. Agreed?