Downey Jr. & Jackman Left Marvel for Similar Reasons

Robert Downey Jr.'s Reason for Leaving Marvel is the Same Hugh Jackman Gave for Logan

Much like Hugh Jackman’s strategic departure from the role of Wolverine, Robert Downey Jr. also meticulously timed his exit from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Jackman’s portrayal of the gruff mutant Wolverine commenced in 2000 with “X-Men,” and he continued to depict various stages of Logan’s life in subsequent films like “X2” and “The Wolverine.” Jackman bid farewell to the character in the emotionally charged “Logan” (2017), explaining his decision by emphasizing the importance of leaving the party at the right time, despite Australians not being known for such prompt exits.

This concept of leaving on a high note resonated with Robert Downey Jr., who had become an iconic figure as Tony Stark/Iron Man over nearly a decade. By early 2018, signs of Downey Jr.’s departure surfaced, despite his status as one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors and a central pillar of the MCU. In a Q&A with Entertainment Weekly, he revealed a fear of overextending his welcome, stating, “I’m definitely a hang up your jersey before they boo you off the court type guy, just because I still have an appropriate fear of embarrassment.” Thus, after the monumental success of “Avengers: Endgame” in 2019, Downey Jr. gracefully concluded his tenure, metaphorically hanging up his Iron Man armor.

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in Logan

Moreover, Downey Jr. seemed to internalize a lesson from The Dark Knight’s Harvey Dent, quoting, “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain.” True to this sentiment, Iron Man sacrificed himself heroically in the battle against Thanos.

While Hugh Jackman has since made a surprising return as Logan in “Deadpool 3” (2024), speculation abounds regarding Robert Downey Jr.’s potential comeback. Marvel’s penchant for unexpected twists, coupled with ongoing rumors of resurrecting fallen heroes, fuels anticipation. Recent developments, such as the tease of a young Avengers team in “The Marvels,” further open the door for possible flashbacks featuring characters like Morgan Stark. However, as of now, there’s no official confirmation from either Marvel Studios or Downey Jr. regarding his return, leaving fans in suspense about the fate of Iron Man in the vast and ever-evolving Marvel universe.

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