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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Russo Brothers Explain How Robert Downey Jr. Kept Iron Man Fresh For Over 10 Years

This week's You Nerd Side Show:

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed Downey in three of his Marvel Cinematic Universe appearances, explained how the actor kept the character fresh for so long. "When he'll come back to set, Robert is famous for throwing the plan out the window and climbing on top of the couch and whatever, sort of going off-book," Joe said. "He does this because he likes to surprise himself. He likes to keep things fresh. He lights up for that."

"There's no other way that he could have played that character for 10 movies unless he was doing that," Anthony added. "Robert has certainly lived a complicated life. He understands the stakes, he understands loss, he understands the turns life can take between ups and downs. He's always looking for that level of depth, that level of complexity. I think he knows that's what we all come to movies for in the first place."

Marvel Studios Firmly Shuts Down Iron Man's Return

During the same interview, dubbed "Robert Downey Jr.'s Third Act," Kevin Feige debunked rumors that Marvel Studios was considering bringing Stark back into the multiverse storyline. "We are going to keep [Iron Man's death] and not touch that moment again," Feige explained. "We all worked very hard for many years to get to that. We would never want to magically undo it in any way," he added, referencing Tony Stark's character growth over the years.

"We'd already said tearful goodbyes on the last day of shooting. Everybody had moved on emotionally," Joe Russo added. "We promised him it would be the last time we made him do it ever." Iron Man met his demise in Avengers: Endgame, giving up his life to thwart Thanos and avert the villain's plan to obliterate half of all life once more. However, with recent MCU releases failing to capture the magic of the Infinity Saga, speculation about Iron Man's return has been rife.

When Robert Downey Jr. was initially cast as Tony Stark in 2008, it was an unexpected choice, and the studio had explored other options before finalizing the decision. Among the considered actors was Tom Cruise, who Feige says was in contention for the role during the mid-2000s. However, financial considerations proved to be a hurdle, as Cruise's asking fee at the time exceeded what studios were willing to risk on an untested superhero property. Interestingly, Cruise dismissed speculation about playing Iron Man and commended Downey for his exceptional portrayal of the superhero.

Source: Vanity Fair

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