During the final moments of Avengers: Endgame, we saw Tony Stark make the ultimate sacrifice for humankind and snap Thanos and his army away. The end of Tony Stark’s journey in the MCU came to a beautiful conclusion as now one of the big three members that started it all made his exit. Some fans would love to see RDJ reprise his role as Iron Man, but there are so many background things that we don’t know about that have to happen like how much it would be to bring Downey back into the MCU?
When Downey starred in the first film to kick-off the MCU, the actor was still finding his footing back in Hollywood, but everyone knew he was a great talent. Downey only earned $500,000 for Jon Favreau’s Iron Man back in 2008, which is nothing compared to how much he would eventually make with every appearance in the MCU. Marvel hasn’t revealed how much they rolled out for Downey, but the studio reportedly paid him around $150 million for his appearance in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame and $15 million for the few moments in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
When Downey started the MCU, he was still on a rocky territory with people in the industry. he was still on the road to redemption in his career and Marvel was even questioning themselves if they should even bring Downey on board to the MCU. Thankfully Favreau, the director of Iron Man pushed hard to have Downey play Tony Stark. In 2013, Downey was at the top of Forbes highest-paid actors list with an estimated $75 million in earnings between June 2012 and June 2013. Downey has consistently topped that list every year since then.
There have been talks recently about bringing Downey back as Iron Man. Even if that is true, no one knows when he would appear again as Downey has said in previous interviews since his departure that Phase Four would move in a direction that doesn’t involve him. The talks have been mostly about the pay that is being asked for Downey to return. It might be too steep for Disney to pay. According to We Got This Covered, an inside source claims that Marvel is not interested in paying Downey a massive salary. If the source is correct this most likely means that Downey’s time in the MCU has come to an end.
Marvel Studios showcased its Phase Four plans in the summer of 2019 and people are excited to see more timelines be explored in the MCU. It’s reported that Marvel wants to explore the cosmic side of the MCU which is something that most likely will not involve Downey. I believe that money will not be an issue if Marvel really wants Tony Stark to return. Either they will either pay Downey what his team wants or he would be happy taking whatever they offer to return to the MCU.