Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame

Tony Stark May Be Retired but Robert Downey Jr. Is Taking the Tech Genius Thing Seriously

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Using nanotechnology to clean up the planet? Hosting a show about A.I. technology? Am I talking about Tony Stark or Robert Downey Jr.? (Hint: It’s Robert John Downey Jr.) Even though this week, at Sting’s benefit concert to help save the rainforest (which Downey hosted), he said that Tony Stark is “fucking retired,” it seems as if the former Iron Man star is taking after Tony Stark even more.

Or, well, he’s planning on hosting The Age of A.I., a show for YouTube where he talks about advancements in A.I. technology—you know, how Tony Stark would do if he weren’t dealing with aliens all the damn time.

The year began with Downey announcing his new Footprint Coalition. Using robotics and nanotechnology, Downey and his team have decided that, throughout the next ten years, they can stop and hopefully reverse our carbon footprint. But that’s not the only Tony Stark-esque thing that Downey, in his Marvel “retirement,” has taken on.

Now, for the new series for YouTube, the star of The Judge is going to host a show all about the advancements and exploration of A.I. technology.

Here’s the thing: I’m going to suddenly watch a lot of stuff about technology all because of Robert Downey Jr., and maybe that’s a good thing. The actor, who I have personally loved since I was a kid, is using his fame from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to push his message for global change, and honestly, it’s an extremely good look.

Starting his press tour for his latest movie, Dolittle, it seems as if everything is a mix of talking about his own production company (Team Downey), the new movie, and his work in doing what he can to help stop climate change and the rapid decline of our planet.

Now, this show, for YouTube Originals, is going to be an interesting look into the world of A.I. that’s outside of what we know and love from the MCU. For many of us, when we think of A.I., we think of JARVIS, FRIDAY, or EDITH talking to Tony while he’s working. (Trust me, I’ve tried to get all my electronics to call me “boss.”) Still though, I think it’s fascinating that he’s using his platform to effect change and getting fans who have known him as Tony Stark for the last ten years to get involved with technology that can truly help the world.

I’m extremely proud of his ambitions with the Footprint Coalition, and it’s going to be interesting to see what comes of it, but I will be watching The Age of A.I. I just hope that Paul Bettany shows up and gives us a bit of JARVIS to make our Marvel-loving hearts complete.

(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. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.