There have been many rumors that the original roster of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will all return in Avengers: Secret Wars. And yes, that would presumably include Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark. But via Variety, we’ve learned that in a recent story on Downey for Vanity Fair, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige said there are no plans to bring Tony Stark back from the grave. Iron Man’s heroic death in Avengers: Endgame, in which he saved the universe from Thanos, was just too important to undo. Here’s what Feige had to say:

“We are going to keep that moment and not touch that moment again. We all worked very hard for many years to get to that, and we would never want to magically undo it in any way.”

Iron Man wears the Infinity Gauntlet in Avengers: Endgame.
Marvel Studios

So it seems like the MCU creatives powers that be will never use magic or nanotech to revive Tony’s corpse for a future film. This is a choice which we all of course applaud. However, we must point out that Feige very carefully worded that response. It’s safe to say we can take Feige at his word, and the MCU won’t resurrect the Tony Stark we knew and loved in 11 films. Iron Man’s death will not change. But that does not mean we are never seeing Robert Downey, Jr. play him again.

Right now, we are in the middle of the MCU’s Multiverse Saga. And we would be genuinely shocked if we did not encounter a multiversal variant of Tony in Secret Wars. And for that matter, a variant of Natasha Romanoff (Scarlet Johansson) too. With Secret Wars likely capping off twenty years of the MCU, it’s hard to imagine no Tony Stark involvement in that. Regardless of what Kevin Feige said, don’t count out seeing Iron Man again. He just won’t exactly be the one you remember. Because that guy is staying dead for sure.