RDJ is "Open" to Returning to MCU, but if You Think It's About Money, You're Mistaken

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Image credit: Walt Disney Studios

It looks like Iron Man's return is only a matter of time.


  • While the MCU has many projects on the horizon, it's unclear how much the writers are running out of ideas with the departure of Jonathan Majors.
  • An Iron Man return could be the way out, and RDJ is 'open to the idea.'
  • Previous earnings within the MCU have allowed the actor to choose his own desired roles.

Despite all the scandals that have plagued Disney and the MCU over the past year, from reports of unbearable overwork to the indecision surrounding the firing of Jonathan Majors, production is well underway on the Marvel movies and shows that will fill out the rest of Phase Five and kick off Phase Six.

After Deadpool & Wolverine, there will be no small number of intriguing films to follow, including the new Fantastic Four, Blade, and of course the fifth installment of Avengers.

Except that Majors has been a stumbling block in this whole situation. Even with a packed release schedule, executives have likely forced writers to rework plot developments several times, and it's still unknown whether or not Marvel will move on from Kang. In this context, rumors have been circulating on the Internet for some time that the company may still have an ace up its sleeve to salvage the situation: Iron Man!

Whether this is true or not is up to you, but Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr., is suddenly ready to reprise his iconic role. And no, the reason may not be money.

Robert Downey Jr. On Possible Return to the MCU

Earlier this month, Variety published an interview in their 'Actors on Actors' segment that reunited longtime colleagues Jodie Foster and Robert Downey Jr. In addition to reflecting on their careers and experiences filming recent projects, Foster asked Downey Jr. a remarkable question about whether the actor would like to put 'the suit back on for Tony Stark?' Suddenly, the actor enthusiastically expressed his desire to return to the role.

'It's just crazily in my DNA. Probably the most like-me character I've ever played, even though he's way cooler than I am. I've become surprisingly open-minded to the idea.'

In response, some MCU fans began to joke that the actor just missed out on those fat paychecks that reach up to $75-80 million. And while it is unlikely that anyone would turn down such an offer, the actor's real reasons may be quite different.

Why RDJ Wants to Return as Tony Stark for More Than Money

His recent post-MCU projects don't compare in terms of paychecks - for Oppenheimer, RDJ was reportedly paid just $4 million, and for the first season of HBO's new series The Sympathizer, he was paid an estimated $14 million.

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During his time in the MCU, however, he earned between $380 million and $435 million according to various reports, including bonuses and back-end profits. A breakdown of his salary during his time with Marvel can be seen below:

  • Iron Man 1 (2008) — $500,000
  • Iron Man 2 (2010) — $10 million
  • Iron Man 3 (2013) — $75 million
  • The Avengers (2012) — $50 million
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) — $40 million
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016) — $40 million
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) — $15 million
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018) — $75 million
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019) — $75 million

Today, the actor's net worth is around $300 million. In other words, Downey Jr. has managed to secure a carefree future for many years to come, but more importantly, he has secured the freedom to be creative. Now he no longer has to think about how commercially successful the project will be in order to jump on it.

Moreover, after the critical failure of Dolittle in 2020, the actor was able to prove to himself that he is still capable of deep dramatic roles, as it turned out in the case of Lewis Strauss from Oppenheimer. Now, Robert Downey Jr. is ready to return to the MCU as a more confident and experienced actor.

Source: Variety, Celebrity Net Worth.

Would you like to see RDJ reprise his role as Iron Man?