Iron Man Robert Downey Jr

Robert Downey Jr. ponders MCU heroes’ futures post-Avengers: Infinity War

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Mar 21, 2018, 5:44 PM EDT

We all know that Avengers: Infinity War will permanently alter the MCU landscape — we just don’t know how. Indeed, that very anticipation is part of what’s selling Marvel’s upcoming landmark, thanks in no small part to level-99 instigator Robert Downey Jr.’s continuing drip-feed of hints and musings on the finality the movie will impart to at least one major character.

Empire has an interview with the inimitable Tony Stark actor in its blowout May issue for Avengers: Infinity War (check out the awesome Thanos cover below), and RDJ appears to be maintaining the same dolorous attitude about the possible fate of some of the hoariest of the MCU’s most bankable characters, including his own Iron Man, as well as Captain America (played by Chris Evans).

“All I know is that there’s something about being on camera with Evans,” Downey Jr. said, via a preview from Screen Rant. “I hate to say it, but I don’t know what I’m gonna do when he’s not Cap anymore.”

Of course it’s hard to know whether RDJ is talking about the events that will play out in Infinity War itself, or simply sharing a reflection on the inevitable character transition that awaits some of the MCU’s longest-serving actors. 

As if to cement the idea that decisive deeds are afoot, while yet remaining willfully enigmatic about whom they’ll affect, the 52-year-old actor falls down his own rabbit hole when talking about the MCU future of Tony Stark.

“I could project all kinds of stuff,” he said. “I could get into the black dog. Whatever you want. Or I could stay, spiking it in the end zone until I have to be carried off. I’m looking forward to whatever resolution is in the cards.”

As if Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t know. He recently told Entertainment Weekly that Infinity War will present a definite “heads-will-roll scenario,” while screenwriter Stephen McFeely confirmed that “we will say farewell to people” when the movie lands this April.

Downey Jr. is on record saying he doesn’t want his Iron Man to go out with a whimper, but with a bang — whether that means in the cycle launched by Infinity War or somewhere farther down the line. “I just never want to blow it for the last six or seven (MCU movies) I have done by dropping the ball because I decided to go do it one more time,” he told the News Corp Australia Network last year. “I just want to hang up my jersey before it’s embarrassing.”

We don’t have too much longer to wait before we find out which character jersey the MCU is retiring with Avengers: Infinity War. The year’s most-anticipated Marvel movie hits theaters on April 27.