If you’re one of five people in the world that has yet to see Avengers: End Game (2019), go ahead a close this article now. If you have and you love Robert Downey Jr, you’re safe.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Iron Man fans walked away from theatres in tears in 2019 after the culmination of the Infinity Saga realized the inevitable sacrifice of Robert Downey Jr’s most recognizable character. Downey Jr was the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe once he put on the suit so many years ago in the first Iron Man (2008) film. Although working almost exclusively with Marvel during his character’s life, Robert Downey Jr quickly rose to reborn stardom after years of drug addiction and run-ins with the law. He ascended the Hollywood ladder, becoming one of the world’s highest-paid actors and sought-after actors.
Although most recognizable as Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr’s career soared with titles like Sherlock Holmes (2009), Dr. Dolittle (202), and most recently, Oppenheimer (2022). Although we will always love Iron Man 3000, the characters is a distant memory in the MCU. However, his counterpart Chris Evans, who famously portrayed Captain America alongside Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark, is also cashing in on his MCU fame. Despite a successful film career outside of Marvel, including titles like Lightyear (2022) and Snowpiercer (2014), like Downey Jr, Evans is ready to make bank with future projects.
Although the MCU, despite its struggles today, remains vastly more profitable than DC comic films, both Evans and Downey Jr have taken a back seat to one DC star with a huge name. DC’s Black Adam premiered in 2022, featuring one of the biggest names in Hollywood. Although Downey Jr’s role as Iron Man once earned him the title of the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, those days are long gone as the Rock joins forces with Captain America in Amazon’s Studios original upcoming film, Red One.
Dwayne Johnson and Chris Evans will co-star alongside Lucy Lui, J. K. Simmons, and Nick Kroll; Red One takes a fresh and unique look at one of the most popular recognizable characters, Santa Claus. Although the story of Santa Claus has been told hundreds of times in cinema, and the details surrounding Amazon Studio’s new film remain under wraps, big money is being shelled out to secure famous comic-based talents like Dwayne Johnson and Chris Evans.
Evan’s co-star Dwayne Johnson is set to make $50 million from the film, eclipsing the $20 million Robert Downey Jr made for Avengers: End Game. Although Red One has a big hill to climb to dethrone Downey Jr and the MCU, as End Game is the second-highest-grossing film of all time, the investment into its stars is placing it in serious consideration as it is a massive project. In other words, as it features two of Hollywood’s most famous names outside of Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr, the combined star power of Dwayne Johnson and Chris Evans has expectations soaring through the roof.
Marvel fans are now asking the question if the dethroning of Downey Jr by Dwayne Johnson could potentially force the actor to bring Iron Man back to the MCU. It could happen as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently in a state of disarray. In fact, based on promotional images, many fans of the MCU were convinced that Iron Man was making his way back in Doctor Strange 2: Multiverse of Madness (2022). Although they were wrong, bringing Downey Jr back as a fan-favorite, Tony Stark could revitalize what many consider a dying MCU. Given the money currently being tossed at other relevant names like Dwayne Johnson, Downey Jr would have plenty of negotiating power. As the actor is in high demand, he could make it happen for an equal price. Considering that Dwayne Johnson is currently the biggest name in Hollywood, featured in recent films like Jungle Cruise (2022), Fast X (2023), and Red Notice (2021) alongside Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot, Downey Jr may not be able to ever get back to the level of stardom he once enjoyed. However, returning to a sure thing like Iron Man would certainly put him right back in the public eye and raise his name higher on the Hollywood ladder.