Iron Man’s sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame was the perfect conclusion to his character arc and reviving him would undermine that moment. Deadpool 3’s introduction of a variant Wolverine shows that a character can return without undoing their perfect ending in a previous film. Bringing back Iron Man as a multiverse variant could refresh the MCU and rejuvenate the franchise, which has had mixed success since Avengers: Endgame.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has already provided the perfect way to bring Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man back without undermining the character’s perfect conclusion in Avengers: Endgame. There have been persistent rumors and petitions regarding Robert Downey Jr. returning to the MCU. The beloved actor effectively ignited the entire franchise after his iconic performance in 2008’s Iron Man. Downey remained at the forefront of the franchise from then on, culminating in Iron Man sacrificing himself to save the universe in Avengers: Endgame. While this seemed like the last time audiences would see Downey as Tony Stark, Deadpool 3 has demonstrated how he could return.

The complete MCU timeline has been complicated since the franchise introduced time travel and multiverses. Consequently, many presumptions and predictions regarding the MCU’s future releases have been rendered completely void – particularly regarding potential character reprisals. While there are many beloved characters that audiences are eager to see return, none boast such fervent demand as Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. This poses a problem, however, as reviving the classic character risks undoing his perfect final performance – or so it seemed.


Every Actor Cast In Deadpool 3 (So Far)

Ryan Reynolds is joining the MCU as the Merc with a Mouth in Phase 6’s Deadpool 3, and some of his supporting cast has already been revealed.

Why The Original Iron Man’s Return Would Undo Endgame

Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man Had The Perfect Ending In Avengers: Endgame

Iron Man’s sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame was the culmination of the flawless Iron Man character arc. He was introduced in 2008 as a selfish billionaire before making his first attempt to sacrifice himself in The Avengers. Guiding a nuclear missile through a portal and into space, Iron Man very nearly lost his life in the line of duty and, subsequently, fully grasped the scale of what he and his colleagues would soon have to face. This glimpse into Thanos’ mighty army haunted Tony Stark for years to come, prompting him at every turn to strive to protect his loved ones and the entire world.

Thus, Iron Man’s Endgame death resolved this major characterization. Iron Man died when he assumed control of the Infinity Stones and undid Thanos’s devastating finger snap in Avengers: Infinity War, giving his life to protect the world in a manner he had been prepared to do for years. Simply reviving Iron Man for further MCU adventures would completely undermine not just this scene, but 11 years of character development and storylines. The entire Infinity Saga would be rendered pointless. Even Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige agrees that Downey’s return would ruin Endgame. There is, however, a solution proffered by Deadpool 3, even before its release.

Wolverine Proves Iron Man Can Return In The MCU

Hugh Jackman Is Reprising The Role Of Wolverine For Deadpool 3

Deadpool 3 has successfully resurrected Wolverine, even though he also received the perfect ending in his final movie – Logan. Logan is a heartfelt and compelling story that breaks away from the standard stories depicted in Fox’s X-Men franchise. It produced one of the best comic book movies ever made, concluding several narrative arcs and resolving Hugh Jackman’s portrayal. Like Downey in Endgame, Jackman delivered the greatest rendition of his character to date before, ultimately, dying during Logan‘s dramatic ending. Wolverine’s confirmation in Deadpool 3 therefore, prompted some concerns that this might undermine Logan‘s impressive legacy.

However, these worries were soon belayed when Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman confirmed in a video that Logan‘s Wolverine would indeed remain dead. The Wolverine in Deadpool 3 would be a variant, exploiting the MCU’s multiverse and time travel themes prominent throughout Phases 4 to 6. Consequently, Logan‘s perfect ending is preserved, with either an alternative or earlier Wolverine appearing in Deadpool 3 – neatly facilitated by Logan existing separately from Fox’s other X-Men movies. With the multiverse firmly established, the MCU could subsequently pull the same trick with Iron Man. The nifty loophole could introduce a variant of Tony Stark, or even an Iron Man from an earlier timeline.

Why The MCU Needs RDJ’s Iron Man Now More Than Ever

The Marvel Cinematic Universe Has Had Mixed Success Since Avengers: Endgame

Bringing Iron Man back as a multiverse variant would prove beneficial for several factors. Firstly, the MCU would be able to pick which era of Tony Stark they wish to revive, meaning the captivating yet cocky Iron Man from before Avengers: Infinity War could recommence the character’s idiosyncratic charm. This would provide all the character’s greatest attributes without touching his Endgame personification or story. Secondly, it would refresh the MCU’s Multiverse Saga, which has been plagued by inconsistent quality and viewing figures. This is largely because many audiences are experiencing superhero fatigue – a phenomenon that Kevin Feige himself addressed.

The enormous wealth of interconnected material produced by the MCU is starting to discourage viewers who don’t want to commit to multiple movies and television shows just to understand the next Avengers movie. Since several other key cast members have also retired from the franchise (such as Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson), the MCU is gradually introducing the next generation of heroes, and with mixed results. Bringing an Iron Man variant into the mix might be enough to rejuvenate the franchise and return the MCU to its former glory, once again heralded by Robert Downey Jr.’s masterful performance.

Key Release Dates

Deadpool 3

Captain America: Brave New World

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

 The MCU could copy another movie’s clever trick.  Read More