Mark Ruffalo addresses potential RDJ return in the MCU

Robert Downey Jr. was the literal start and "end" of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after starring in 2008's Iron Man.

Mark Ruffalo headlined a recent panel, Mean and Green: Mark Ruffalo Spotlight, at the just concluded Emerald City Comic-Con in Seattle, Washington. During the panel, the actor, who currently stars as Bruce Banner cum the Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was asked whether Robert Downey Jr. will return in some form in the nearest future. The actor wouldn’t give a definitive answer but he did provide a coy response. 

Mark Ruffalo plays the superhero character, The Hulk, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

He stated that the death of Downey Jr.’s character, Iron Man, in Avengers: Endgame was a sad occurrence, before adding that there is a time machine in the MCU, suggesting that Marvel could bring the character back. He pointed to the fact that the franchise now has alternate universes and realities to buttress his point.

When he was pressed to clarify his response, he jokingly looked up at the hall ceiling before responding, "Are one of these boards going to fall on me? Man, are you trying to get me in trouble again? I'm not going to say it's not possible, but I'm not going to say it is."

Prior to this interview, Ruffalo was one of the actors most "likely to blurt out a spoiler" in Marvel Cinematic Universe. He has been the subject of many criticisms for his inability to keep secrets during interviews.

For instance, the Now You See Me actor revealed that everybody dies at the end during the press tour ahead of Avengers: Infinity Wars debut. However, he will be proud to have held his own during this latest ordeal.

During the panel, Ruffalo also opened up on his experience as the green-colored giant. He described his time playing the superhero character as "amazing fun, and really challenging and always surprising." The Bruce Banner actor also revealed that working on Marvel movies means that the cast and crew are constantly looking to tell stories that will have the best possible impact. He stated that Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige, always sat the actors down and sought their input on which directions their characters should go.

Robert Downey Jr.'s final appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was in the 2019 film Endgame.

Ruffalo’s statement comes after Stephen Broussard, a Marvel Studios executive, put to bed speculation that Robert Downey Jr. will make a cameo appearance in Armor Wars before making a full return in Avengers: Secret Wars.

Broussard told io9’s Germain Lussier that Downey Jr.’s return is no longer on the table.

In other news, Vin Diesel has identified the perfect villain role for Robert Downey Jr. The Fast and Furious star revealed that he'd love RDJ to play a villainous version of Tony Stark in the final Fast and Furious film titled Fast 11.

Whether or not this happens, Downey Jr. will reportedly reprise his role as the titular character in a third installment of the detective film series Sherlock Holmes and, according to a 2022 Variety report, will produce two spin-offs of the film series. He is also billed to star in the film, Play Dirty, and the television series, The Sympathizer, although there isn’t much info available on the two projects.

In the meantime, fans of the Academy Award nominee can look forward to his next on-screen role as Lewis Strauss in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film Oppenheimer.

Tobi Oguntola

Tobi is an avid reader with interest in everything entertainment. He also loves the big screen as it fuels his overactive imagination. When he is not reading a fantasy, sci-fi, or thriller novel, he is listening to music, watching TV, or surfing the internet. Tobi is on Steam as tobioguntola.
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