9:00 am EDT, April 1, 2018

Robert Downey Jr. to have ‘Stan Lee style’ cameo in all future Marvel movies

By Kendra Cleary | Edited by Donya Abramo

Not all of our favorite heroes will be retiring after Avengers 4.

Robert Downey Jr. has signed a deal with Disney and Marvel Studios to appear in all future Marvel movies for the next 10 years.

That’s right… every one of them.

In a press release today, Marvel Studios announced that their partnership with Robert Downey Jr. would continue long after the final Avengers film leaves theatres. The release expressed the studio’s enthusiasm for the deal, saying “Marvel Studios is thrilled to announce that Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man will remain an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the next decade and beyond.”

The release also detailed the reasoning behind the decision. “As the MCU transitions into Phase 4, it’s important to bring the core aspects and values of the first three phases into the new era. We believe that the continued inclusion of Iron Man, who formed the foundation of the MCU, as we know it, will be extremely effective in keeping the spirit of all the original characters and stories alive.”

This is a bold move, but not an entirely surprising one. Marvel Studios has made no secret about its affinity for both Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr. First, the character hijacked the third installment in the Captain America franchise, then, he featured heavily in the latest Spider-Man adaptation. Now, it looks like he’ll be making his mark on all of the Marvel properties.

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The cameos were described as “Stan Lee style,” which likely means that Iron Man won’t actually have a substantial role in the upcoming films, as he did in both Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming. No word on if the Iron Man cameos will replace Stan Lee’s own, or if both will exist in future films.

In a concerning twist, the press release went on to say that “the Downey Jr./Iron Man cameos will negate the need to include other touchstones from the current MCU in future phases. We will be examining the upcoming slate and considering whether or not a Black Widow movie is necessary to the story we’re trying to tell.”

Related: Marvel’s Black Widow movie: 5 female superheroes we want to see fighting alongside Natasha

Yikes! It only got worse from there…”The MCU has been built on characters like Iron Man and we’d like to continue that focus on into the next chapter. We think fans will be very satisfied with the upcoming Captain Marvel movie, which could diminish interest in a largely redundant Black Widow solo venture.”

This news comes on the heels of both Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth announcing that they’ll likely be finished with their hero alter-egos after the next two Avengers movies. It’s comforting that at least one of the OG MCU players will be sticking around for a while, but definitely not if it comes at the expense of the planned Black Widow movie.

It’s interesting that Marvel decided to announce the partnership this early, since it’s essentially a huge spoiler for Avengers: Infinity War, and the as yet untitled Avengers 4. It now seems to be all but indisputable that Downey Jr.’s Iron Man will survive the events of the films. Unless his “Stan Lee style” cameos will be made through a talking portrait? Or a ghost?? Or Robot Tony Stark???

We’re thrilled that RDJ will continue to appear, but still confused that this huge spoiler has been revealed so close to the release of Avengers: Infinity War. The spoilers didn’t stop there, either.

Hypable reached out for comment to see if any of the other beloved characters would be seen in future Marvel movies, and a representative responded saying, “All I can say is that you won’t be seeing Captain America, since everyone knows he’s going to die.”

What would you like to see Iron Man doing in these cameos?

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