Robert Downey, Jr. Talks Iron Man’s Future

By February 17, 2015

The Marvel Cinematic Universe began in 2008 when Jon Favreau’s original Iron Man film knocked the collective public for a loop with an interesting take on the superhero origin story, and a powerful debut of Tony Stark to the cinematic world via the terrific performance of Robert Downey, Jr. This year, we’re on the cusp of enjoying Downey’s fifth performance as the Armored Avenger when Avengers: Age of Ultron releases this coming May. Nearing fifty years of age, Downey has been all too willing to talk frankly about how much more he feels he can successfully contribute to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that he helped to build, and some recent words from the actor may give us an idea of what to expect from Tony in this summer’s forthcoming Avengers sequel and beyond.

In an interview with Empire, Downey detailed how the events in the upcoming film will position changes in Tony that will feed into his appearance in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, the film loosely based on the comic book mini-series Civil War that saw Captain America and Iron Man square off due to a disagreement over government registration of superhumans. As far as where the Avengers sequel will take Stark, Downey said,

The clues are in Ultron about where we might find him next. But what would it take for Tony to completely turn around everything he’s stood for, quote-unquote, because he was the right-wing guy who could still do his own thing. […] It’s kind of weird that these guys would have all these throw downs all over planet Earth and it looked like a little collateral damage happened over there, and yet when the movie’s over, it’s like nobody minds. You have to figure, ‘Were you to ask the question, what would the American government do if this were real? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Tony doing something you wouldn’t imagine?

Downey also discussed the repercussions on Chris Evans’ Captain America, saying that the First Avenger’s outward appearance as the embodiment of American ideals still betrays a lot of churning dilemmas Steve faces below the surface about being a man out of time, and how his conceptions of the world can often clash with modern realities (which was also one of the focuses of the story in last year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Age of Ultron sounds like it will be a very dominant factor into how the eventual conflict between the two will form, but where things go beyond that point will have to wait until the credits roll on Civil War when it’s released next May.

Downey also spoke frankly about how upcoming roles in Marvel films will give Tony an opportunity to have a more backseat role as further films are made, which makes sense given just how many other films and characters are in the production pipeline at Marvel Studios. This is even truer now than it was less than a month ago given the recent news surrounding Marvel Studios’ new ability to make use of Spider-Man in upcoming MCU films, along with a rebooted Spider-Man film franchise taking place in the universe that Downey’s Iron Man helped to establish seven years ago.

For more on Downey’s thoughts about the future of Iron Man and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, read the full interview at Empire. For more on Avengers: Age of UltronCaptain America: Civil War, and beyond, keep an eye on GeekNation for any future developments!

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation,, The Huffington Post, and He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.