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Let Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. Live Outside of Marvel

This is coming from a Stony fan.

Steve Rogers and Tony Stark in 'Avengers' Endgame

We’re barely a month into 2020, and everyone still is asking Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans when they’re going back to Marvel. It’s not even been a year since they got their finales in Avengers: Endgame! There’s a certain level of nostalgia that we have, as fans, and when things come to an end, we want them to come back, which is probably why we have new Star Wars movies and a never-ending cycle of Batman movies at our disposal. And now … it seems as if people already have that same feeling for the Avengers, wanting our fallen heroes back in action.

That’s not to say I think either of these characters is now “unimportant.” Actually, the opposite. Just this week, Robert Downey Jr. talked with a little boy on The Ellen DeGeneres Show who learned how to speak and cope with autism through Iron Man. Wearing an Iron Man mask, the little boy was confident enough to begin speaking, and even named his dog “Mr. Stark.”

But the constant questions about whether or not they’ll return to the roles is … a lot. Just this morning, Downey was promoting Dolittle on The Today Show and was asked about going back to Tony Stark, and it got to the point where he finally said, “We’ll see,” in response to the question.

And he isn’t the first, either. Evans talked with Scarlett Johansson about it on Actors on Actors, and I think part of the problem is that they feel obligated to not just say, “No.”

The thing is: We’re getting so many new heroes in Marvel’s next phase, and with the Disney+ programming, what if we let our nostalgia sit for a bit? That’s not to say I don’t want old man Steve Rogers in Falcon and the Winter Soldier or for Tony Stark to come back as Peter Parker’s new A.I. system in some way, but I do think that we can, you know, wait just a little bit. Avengers: Endgame came out in April 2019, and it’s January 2020, and we’re already continually asking them when they’ll be back?

Let’s look, instead, to the future. With rumors of an Iron Heart series and a confirmed She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel coming our way, we’re getting a new wave of younger, more diverse heroes, and maybe the time for Tony and Steve to sit back and enjoy is now. (Let’s be honest, we’re probably going to see them again in Black Widow and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so just be patient, my young ones.)

The time now is for Shang-Chi and to let actors like Simu Liu have his chance. We’re getting The Eternals and seeing Kumail Nanjiani and Richard Madden shine alongside Angelina Jolie. Even Hawkeye is meant to be passing down his bow to Kate Bishop. It’s an era of change, and one that, honestly, is going to work for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and keep it alive.

Do I wish that Tony Stark also got to live to an old age like Steve Rogers? Yes, I also wish that Steve just said, “No,” to Sam and left it at that, but that’s an entirely different issue. No matter what happens with Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. in the future of the MCU, let’s focus on the new characters we’re going to learn about, the heroes we have left, and keep a little bit of hope alive for their return some point later down the line.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, and wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. At least she gets to live in New York City though!