‘Oppenheimer’ Oscar winner Robert Downey Jr. reveals he’d “happily” reprise as Tony Stark in the MCU

Marvel Studios

It appears Robert Downey Jr. has rethought coming back to his role as Iron Man.

In a touching, wide-ranging interview with Esquire that began shortly after his nomination for the Academy Award-winning Oppenheimer, Downey revealed that he would — to use a turn of phrase he once used on The Howard Stern Show — “put the jersey back on” and play once again for Marvel Studios.

When asked if he’d return as the self-described billionaire, genius, playboy philanthropist Tony Stark, Downey revealed, “Happily. It’s too integral a part of my DNA. That role chose me.”

Tony Stark sacrificed himself to snap away Thanos at the end of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told Vanity Fair in December, “We would never want to magically undo it in any way.”

But that was then, and Marvel’s blockbuster-minting machine has had some hiccups, with misfires like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and The Marvels.

That said, Downey tells Esquire, “I always say, Never, ever bet against Kevin Feige. It is a losing bet. He’s the house. He will always win.”

In the past, Downey told The Joe Rogan Show that a return was “off the table,” barring a “super-compelling argument.”

Incidentally, Esquire‘s post-Academy Awards questions revealed what Downey thought of a couple of clunker monologue jokes Jimmy Kimmel lobbed at him on Oscar night poking fun at his past drug abuse.

“I don’t care,” RDJ said. “I love Jimmy Kimmel. I think he’s a national treasure.”

As for what it felt like while he hoisted that glamorous award? Downey noted he felt something less glamorous, saying, “I was just trying to hold my mud.”


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