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Oppenheimer Oscar winner Robert Downey Jr. reveals hed “happily” reprise as Tony Stark in the MCU

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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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