Robert Downey Jr. Saw the Biggest Problem in MCU Even Years Before Avengers: Endgame

Robert Downey Jr. foresaw the onset of superhero fatigue.

robert downey jr ironman, mcu

Since its inception with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, MCU has continued to flourish in almost every measure from critical to commercial success, making millions at the box office and gaining recognition on the international market. However, there has been a noticeable decline in the momentum in recent years, attributed to the emergence of superhero fatigue among fans.


While many believe that it has grown rapidly in recent years, particularly following the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame, one of the prominent stars of the franchise, Downey Jr., appears to have foreseen the impending decline of the franchise years ago.

Robert Downey Jr. Predicted MCU’s Downfall Years Ago

In a 2014 interview, Robert Downey Jr. suggested that the stream on releases within the genre could lead to superhero fatigue among the audience, describing them as the “beginning signs of fraying around the edges.” He told The Telegraph, “Honestly, the whole thing is just showing the beginning signs of fraying around the edges — It’s a little bit old… Last summer, there were five or seven different [superhero films] out. I feel that they are critiqued by a different metric to any other movie.”

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in the 2012 movie.

The Oscar-winning actor argued that superhero movies are often critiqued on different measures, primarily due to their box office performance. “Right, [that metric is box office], but also they are more forgiven because they operate on a different frequency,” he further stated.

In his conversation with The Telegraph, the actor also highlighted the sense of repetition and a need for innovation within the genre, saying, “It’s like a bunch of really good dancers and you’re looking for the one who keeps changing her leg warmers.” And it seems the studio is now looking forward to adapting new ways in an attempt to restore the franchise’s former glory.

Marvel Studios Takes a Strategic Shift Toward Quality Over Quantity

After the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame, the studio has expanded the franchise into Disney+ shows, with them launching five TV series and four movies in 2021 alone, leading to criticism regarding the franchise’s focus on quantity rather than quality.

Disney CEO Bob Iger

Disney CEO Bob Iger

In contrast, they have only one film slated for 2024, Deadpool & Wolverine, along with the Disney+ series Agatha, which is expected to be released in late 2024. Speaking at Disney’s fiscal Q2 earning call, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that they are planning to continue with a similar approach.

“I’ve been working hard with the studio to reduce output and focus more on quality, that’s particularly true with Marvel,” he said, as per The Hollywood Reporter. Iger also shared that they are planning to limit series releases to two per year and movies to a maximum of two or three annually.

marvel studios the fantastic four

Along with this strategic shift, upcoming projects such as the Deadpool threequel and Fantastic Four reboot offer the studio an opportunity to present something fresh and new to the audience within the beloved superhero franchise.

Deadpool & Wolverine is set to release on July 26, 2024.

Agatha is expected to be released in late 2024 on Disney+.

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