Robert Downey Jr Is Returning as Iron Man for 'Black Widow' Film | 22 Words

Warning: Avengers: Endgame spoilers ahead.

That's right, word on the street is that Robert Downey Jr isn't finished in his role of Tony Stark after all.

Rumors circulating this week confirm that, although we watched Downey's character get crushed by a load of rocks in Avengers: Endgame, he is returning to our screens!

This may well be due to the fact that the highly anticipated Black Widow movie is set fifteen years after the fall of the Soviet Union, which means that we'll be catching up with Johansson's Natasha Romanova in about 2006.

When was it that Iron Man got crushed by loads of rocks? Well, after that.

Needless to say, fans are going wild over the news that Tony Stark is "coming back from the dead..." although, I mean, technically in the Black Widow universe, he's not dead yet.

Black Widow is set to be a picture full of surprises. With Scarlett Johanson at the helm and seeming to have an impressive amount of control over the production, I think it's safe to say that this will be one MCU movie unlike any other.

Keep scrolling to learn more about Robert Downey Jr's role in the picture and the other surprises that we can expect from Black Widow.

Fans were devastated when Iron Man was killed off.

No one likes it when their favorite character dies. And, I mean, come on, look at that face. No one wanted to miss out on seeing Robert Downey Jr. in his poppy red Iron Man costume again.

It seemed as though Downey jr was sad to let the role go, too.

After a ten-year run playing Tony Stark, accepting that the role was over was understandably strange for Robert Downey Jr. Speaking to IndieWire in July of this year, the actor admitted that he had an unsettling feeling of giving up the role. After a decade of playing Stark, Downey knew that it was time to move on, although he professed: "And it sucks because the kid in all of us wants to be like, ‘No! It’s always gonna be summer camp and we’re all holding hands and singing kumbaya. Isn’t it?'"

The Avengers team was a family.

Or at least, for the Hollywood actors that reprised their Marvel superhero roles year in year out, The Avengers was a summer camp that they all returned to. Not that making these movies wasn't incredibly hard work. Making a Marvel movie requires a lot from an actor, Downey recalled: "It was very, very, very hard work and I dug very deep."

Scarlett Johanson is not unfamiliar with the hard work that it takes to make a superhero movie.

Johanson has starred as Black Widow in eight movies already. The stand-alone Black Widow (2020) picture will be the ninth time that Johansson has reprised the role.

Don't believe me?

It's 100% true! Scarlett first appeared in MCU as Black Widow for the 2010 Iron Man 2 movie. She then reprised the role in 2012 for Avengers Assemble. Then she was in 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Captain Marvel (2019), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Count 'em up boys, I think you'll find I'm right.

I mean, that still doesn't seem to be enough for some people!

Now, I like Scarlett Johansson, I've liked her since Ghost World - I even let it slide when she worked with Woody Allen on the 2008 Vicky Cristina Barcelona... and when she made those controversial comments defending him against the sexual abuse allegation. I mean, the dude is clearly a sexual predator. I mean, I don't believe that it's fair to throw women under the bus for the crimes of men... but, what I'm saying is, heck, this Twitter user doesn't seem to be able to wait five minutes for Johansson to return to screens.

Personally, I'm more looking forward to her upcoming Noah Bauchmach picture.

Noah Bauchmach is a director that never disappoints. He's the partner of actress-turned-Golden-Globe-winning-director-and-screenwriter, Greta Gerwig. Bauchmach, as a writer and director himself, has been firing out terrific quirky indie cinema ever since he made his debut in 2005 with The Squid And The Whale. Since then, he's written and directed, Margot At The Wedding, Frances Ha, and Mistress America. All three of these pictures starred Greta Gerwig and helped to make her a recognizable face on the indie movie scene. That being said, it is Johansson that is the star of Bauchmach's latest picture.

Marriage Story (2019).

Coming to Netflix in the fall, Marriage Story has been making big waves over the festival season. Starring Scarlett Johansson alongside Adam Driver, this movie promises to showcase the performances of a lifetime. Voted one of the top movies of the festival season by Variety, audiences are expected to see Noah Bauchmauch at his best. Variety stated: "It’s the Noah Baumbach movie we’ve been waiting for — not another minimalist drama but a major statement, made with so much wit, authority, and spontaneously articulated emotion that it can stand as the divorce drama of our time."

It's being called the Kramer vs Kramer of our time.

When Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep starred in the 1979 classic, Kramer vs Kramer, they seemed to make the divorce picture of the age. Now, Johansson and Driver are bringing us the updated version, thirty years to the day.

Scarlett Johansson has been on a journey.

We can expect great things from Johansson from here on out I believe. Now thirty-four-years-old, the actress seems to be in complete control of her career and is delivering her best performances to date. Whilst shooting the highly anticipated Marriage Story Johansson was actually coming to terms with the end of her own marriage, to French advertising agent, Romain Dauriac. Reflecting on the experience, Johansson stated: "It felt fated in a way,"  speaking to reporters at The Venice Film Festival, the actress added, “It came somehow at just the right time."

It doesn't seem as though Johansson is leaving much up to fate with Black Widow.

Rumors about the level of Scarlett Johansson's involvement in the making of Black Widow seem to grow every day. I mean, after starring in the role eight times already, I suppose we ought to consider her the expert.

She's ensured that she gets paid fairly for this role.

Marvel has been paying Johansson less than her male co-stars for years. For her role in Iron Man 2 and the first Avengers movie, the actress made between $6-7 million dollars. Now that might sound like a lot... but it's a bit of a kick in the teeth when you discover that her co-stars, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth, were making $15 million a movie.

But wait until you hear how much RDJ was making...

Johansson has now ensured that she is also paid $15 dollars a movie. For the last two Avengers movies, the stars were paid the same, and she is set to make $15 million for her role in Black Widow. That being said, now we know that RBJ is attached to the movie... how much is he going to be paid?

Robert Downey jr was paid $20 million for Avengers: Endgame (at first...).

Due to a back-end deal that RDJ had with the production, he was entitled to 8% of the movies' gross profit. After racking up an eye-watering $2.7 billion at the worldwide box office - making it the second-highest-grossing movie of all time (second to James Cameron's Avatar) - Downey has walked away with about $55 million dollars on top of his salary.

So, basically, RDJ made an impressive $75 million dollars from Avengers: Endgame.

Marvel wasn't always so generous to Robert Downey Jr, though. In fact, for his part in Iron Man, the actor only made $500,000. It seemed that his co-star, Gwenyth Paltrow, made even less than that. Although her actual salary has not been released, the actress opened up to Variety about the gender pay gap. Speaking frankly, Gwenyth said: "Look, nobody is worth the money that Robert Downey Jr. is worth, but if I told you the disparity, you would probably be surprised."

But it's not about the money, right?

With a movie like Black Widow, it's about making a movie that the fans will be happy with. That being said, this has clearly become a bit of a passion project for Johansson and she's taking over the reins to make it the movie that she wants it to be. I mean, if anyone should have jurisdiction over how Black Widow is portrayed from now on, surely it should be the actress who has embodied her eight times? Scarlett Johansson's unorthodox approach to the handling of this Marvel movie means that it's set to be one of the most interesting MCU movies to date.

Johansson rallied for Cate Shortland to direct.

Marvel intended on hiring a female director as part of their pledge to make the MCU more diverse, but Shortland came as a peculiar choice. She has never directed a superhero movie before, heck, she's never even directed an action movie before. But the Australian director caught the eye of one Scarlett Johansson...

Johansson was a big fan of Shortland's Lore.

Shortland received rave reviews for the movie. The war movie, set against the backdrop of a romance drama was about a German child, Lore, who set about escaping the allied troops along with her siblings, only to discover the reality about their parent's corrupt beliefs. So... what's that got to do with Black Widow?

"An opportunity to explore the Widow."

Johansson is considering the stand-alone Black Widow movie to be an opportunity to explore the depths of the titular character. Who better then than a director who has proven her ability to grapple with one's moral compass and individual journey? Speaking about the upcoming movie during an Entertainment Tonight interview with Chris Evans, Johansson said that it would be "an opportunity to explore the Widow as a woman who has come into her own and is making independent and active choices for herself, probably for once in her life."

Scarlett Johansson also rallied for writer, Ned Benson.

Just like the attached director, Ned Benson, who is now set to direct Black Widow, has never written a super-hero movie. In fact, Benson hasn't written very much at all.

He's known for The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby series.

Benson wrote an impressive three-part trilogy that explores the breakup of a relationship through three different perspectives: His, Hers, and Theirs. The movies did remarkably well for a somewhat of an unknown screenwriter at the major festivals, and Benson's ability to portray the struggles of human relationships seemed to impress Johansson.

Black Widow's love interest?

Considering that all we know about the writer is that he can tell a mean love story, it would seem that Black Widow will involve a love story. Although the full narrative is yet to be released, my money is on O-T Fagbenle's character, Mason, to portray Johansson's lover.

Fagbenle has proved himself a worthy love interest...

You may remember Fagbenle for portraying Luke Bankole in the seriously successful TV series, Handmaid's Tale. Bankole played the love interest of the show's main character, June Osbourne. I mean, if he can pull off playing the male lover in that relatively anti-male TV series, I'm sure that he'll be a perfectly inoffensive choice to star as strong independent lady, Black Widow's, love interest.

Rachel Weisz is also set to star.

Weisz's character is shrouded in mystery. Other than knowing the name of her character, "Melina Vostokoff," we know little else. From the name, we can guess that, being Russian, Rachel Weisz's character is probably also from the Black Widow program that Johansson's character originated from. But, eh, we'll have to wait for the movie to know for sure!

David Harbour has also been cast in Black Widow.

Harbour's character, Alexei Shostakov, aka the Red Guardian, is a role that has flooded the rumor mill. Researching the character online, there are claims that he will play Johansson's estranged Russian husband, as well as whispers that the character will, in fact, be a "Russian Captain America." Who knows? Maybe he'll be both!

There's no confusion as to who RDJ's character will be.

Although, how, exactly, he'll appear in the picture is opened up a very divisive debate online.

A deleted scene?

Some fans are debating whether RDJ's appearance will be in the shape of a deleted scene from Civil Wars. I wonder how much he'll get paid for that...

Fans don't want another Civil War...

Frankly, even if Downey Jr's appearance will be from a deleted Captain America: Civil War scene, I bet my bottom dollar that Black Widow will be nothing like any other Marvel movie. This stand-alone picture is set to reshape everything that we thought we knew about Marvel. I can't wait. Sadly, even if Robert Downey Jr stars in Black Widow, it looks like he won't be working with Tom Holland again. Continue scrolling to see the time that the pair reunited and fans got emotional...