Robert Downey Jr. kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man back in 2008. Now, eight years and six films later, his place in the universe has been the subject of great debate. Between his age and monetary issues that he’s had with the studio, many reporters have speculated that Downey would be leaving the MCU once his contract is up. However, it looks like fans can look forward to at least one more film featuring his iconic Tony Stark.
The Hollywood Reporter has announced that, according to their “sources,” RDJ has finalized a deal to join the cast of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming.’
The move is apparently in response to Spider-Man’s appearance in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, in which Stark and Peter Parker develop a friendship or mentorship of some sort:
[Civil War] establishes a key relationship between Tony Stark/Iron Man and Parker and Homecoming will continue that thread.
Downey’s latest Marvel contract was for his appearances in Civil War and the two Avengers: Infinity War films. The report claims that this new appearance required additional negotiations and a “hefty” deal. It is currently unknown whether the deal involves subsequent Spider-Man films.
THR also points out that the casting further exemplifies Marvel Studios’ involvement in Sony’s standalone Spider-Man films:
But with Downey’s boarding, it appears that Marvel will continue to keep Spider-Man close not just creatively but also literally; Tony Stark/Iron Man appearing in Homecoming keeps the Sony’s movies strongly tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The friendship/mentorship between Iron Man and Spider-Man is pulled directly from the source material, most notable from 2006’s Civil War. However, that same series showed a parting of the ways between the two characters, so it will be interesting to see how the events of the Civil War movie will affect Robert Downey Jr.’s role in Homecoming.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is scheduled for release on July 7, 2017.