The possibility of Robert Downey Jr.’s return as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been a topic of discussion among fans, especially after the introduction of Variants in the Multiverse Saga. And for quite some time now fans have been debating will Iron Man return to the MCU. However, Marvel Studios VP Stephen Broussard recently confirmed that Phase 4 is about new characters and a new generation stepping forward and that Iron Man is “no longer on the table.”
While having a talk with io9, here’s what exactly Stephen Broussard said:
“Well, I think one of the meta-narratives of Phase Four was about new characters. It was about new people stepping into mantles. If you look at, like, Cassie [Lang in ‘Quantumania’] getting a suit and Kate Bishop [in ‘Hawkeye’], new characters being introduced like Jack in Werewolf by Night. After these first 10 years of Marvel storytelling, torches are being passed, like with Robert Downey Jr. no longer being [on the] table and stuff like that. So it was kind of like a new generation stepping to the forefront which, again, has always happened in the comics.”
Broussard’s statement refers to the fact that the torch is being passed to new characters, and the old ones are being replaced. Although Downey Jr. has hinted at the possibility of a return, the studio is likely to focus on new and upcoming characters such as Cassie Lang, Kate Bishop, and Jack in Werewolf by Night. Fans have speculated that Iron Man could appear in spin-offs such as Ironheart and Armor Wars, as well as the anticipated Avengers: Secret Wars, but Broussard’s statement suggests that Downey Jr.’s return is unlikely.
However, the possibility of appearances by iconic Avengers such as Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow in special events, such as 2026’s Secret Wars, is a possibility. Marvel Studios intends to include “as many heavy hitters as they can” for the blockbuster event, which may include legacy favorites such as Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man.
While the return of these iconic characters would generate excitement and hype, it would be a costly investment for Marvel Studios, and they may only appear in high-profile events rather than in regular appearances. Fans should not expect to see them on Disney+ and will most likely see them only in Avengers-level movies. In conclusion, the statement by Broussard confirms that Iron Man’s time in the MCU has come to an end, and Marvel Studios is moving forward with new characters and a new generation of superheroes.
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