Robert Downey Jr. was trying to retire after the first “Iron Man,” so yeah, that’s working out well for him

Playing an integral role in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. is acting in his thousandth (okay seventh) film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is coming into his own as a superhero — or is, at least, trying to — Tony Stark takes on a new role: Mentor/father figure.

It’s no secret that Downey is the king of the MCU, with his 2008 film Iron Man opening the doors for the now iconic famous and forever running franchise of Marvel superheroes. In most cases, Tony Stark serves as the link that connects the MCU, so we have to wonder: Can Downey ever retire? Well it turns out, according to Downey, he’s been semi-retired since the weekend Iron Man opened.


At a recent press conference for Spider-Man: Homecoming, the actor was asked if he considered the upcoming film to be the passing of the torch to Holland’s Spider-Man taking on the role of “connective tissue” of MCU. Downey responded with his typical dry humor, telling the audience:

“I’ve been semi-retired since…the first weekend Iron Man 1 opened.”

The actor went on to describe what it’s like stepping into a role that becomes so expansive — like Tony Stark — and how it’s easy to think that, as the actor, it can sometimes be easy to attribute success to yourself, even though it’s quickly clear that that attribution is not necessarily correct.


"The great thing about life is it is so [many]...good things happen. I'll speak for myself. You get inflated. And then you think, 'Oh my God. I have created everything that's going my way.' And then things happen where you're going like, 'Alright, there's a little evidence to the contrary,' and at this point, you go back to, 'You know, it's nice to be on this call sheet.' So, as you can see, I've changed dramatically, I'm an extremely humble individual."

As for Spider-Man: Homecoming itself, it Downey revealed how much he loved it, both as an actor working on it and a fan of MCU.

"They really should do like one of those break-down, kinda boring to read, but somewhat important books, about really all the miracles that had to happen for us to be sitting here today," Downey said, of the difficult road for Spider-Man joining MCU." And now I just feel like, 'This turned out so well though.' I mean, it really always comes down to, as Kevin [Feige] says, 'You've got to see the movie to love it.' And I saw it. I was in it, a little bit. And I saw it, and I honestly loved it."

With Infinity WarThe Voyage of Dr. Doolittle, and Sherlock Holmes 3 in the pipeline, it seems the actor is going to be pretty busy, so we have to wonder: What does it look like when Downey *isn’t* semi-retired? Watch Tony Stark learn about paternal instincts in Spider-Man: Homecoming when it opens in theaters on July 7th.