The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t the pop culture force it once was. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania underperformed at the box office, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 failed to make a billion dollars (a lofty milestone, but it was once a given for an MCU movie), and Loki isn’t attracting the same level of buzz as it did during its first season. There’s also the Jonathan Majors… mess.
To get out of its post-Avengers: Endgame rut, Marvel is reportedly having “talks” about getting the OG Avengers back together.
According to Variety, “this would include reviving Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, both of whom were killed off in Endgame.” (Superheroes coming back from the dead is nothing new for comic books — or Fast and Furious movies.) This plan would also presumably involve Chris Evans’ Captain America, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye. Marvel Studios “hasn’t yet committed to the idea,” however, possibly because of the salary requirements. “If it were able to bring those actors back, it wouldn’t come cheap. Sources say Downey Jr.’s upfront salary for Iron Man 3 was around $25 million,” Variety reports.
Another option is to recast a familiar Marvel character with a different A-list actor, like when The Hulk went from Edward Norton to Ruffalo. It’s hard to imagine Iron Man being played by anyone but Robert Downey Jr. — until Jack Black steps into the red and gold suit. Problem solved!