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Robert Downey Jr. Shares a Love Letter to Marvel Fans

I love you, Tony.

Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame

It’s been nearly three years since we’ve said goodbye to Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, but it hasn’t been easy. He was the man who started the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the one who carried us into this world that has now taken over our movies and TV screens. But as we’ve come to terms with Tony Stark actually being dead, we’ve also gotten more and more content about the creation of the MCU and how this universe came to be.

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In The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe book that was recently released, Robert Downey Jr. shared a 1000-word letter he wrote honoring the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the fans who helped to make it (and Tony Stark) what it now is.

The Who, is YOU .. . If you made it to the “end credits” of this anniversary edition, you’re likely a fan, so there’s your Easter egg, darlings . . . a mirror! Folks who respond to mythological storytelling arc positively the propellant of all things Marvel. It’s always been that way, no supply required without demand. Ever since Comic Con 2007, it’s been apparent that the audience (no offense, THX) was no longer just listening. For ten years, YOU have copiloted the narrative.

Finally, I hope these films have evoked a dialogue on equality, justice, freedom, embracing diversity, and combating intolerance with the power of partnership, sacrifice, and love.

At this point, Tony might say: “You’re welcome.” I’ll balance that with a boundless eternal: “Thank you.”

Thank you, RDJ. The MCU might be vast and huge now to the point where some people are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content we’re getting, but a lot of that all comes down to you and your work as Tony Stark. We owe you so much, and I think I’m going to hold out hope that Tony can return in some way or another until the MCU ends or they tell me to stop wishing. Probably won’t stop even then.

Tony Stark played an important part in making this world that brings us so much joy. Without Iron Man in 2008, we wouldn’t have films like Eternals or the Hawkeye series coming out next. We wouldn’t all be obsessively watching the MCU and worrying about spoilers in the way that we are, and sure, there are people who wish there were less Marvel movies, but I don’t. I’m grateful that Jon Favreau took a chance and made Robert Downey Jr. his Iron Man. I’m glad that we have this intricate world of heroes and villains that we love so much.

Tony Stark would say “you’re welcome,” but we know it’d be accompanied by some smile or look that told us that he meant “thank you” just as much as Robert Downey Jr. did. And that’s why we love him so much.

(via The Direct, image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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