Movies & TV

Robert Downey Jr. Has a Pretty Great Reason for Retiring as Iron Man

Respect.
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Robert Downey Jr. has appeared in eight movies in the last decade as Tony Stark. Three of these have been Iron Man movies, the others have been appearances in Avengers movies and/or other films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Next year, he'll be in Avengers: Infinity War, a title which kind of accurately describes Downey Jr.'s future in acting. That's a lot of Marvel movies.

No one can keep that kind of pace up forever.

Downey Jr. even acknowledges that his time as Iron Man will be coming to an end, and for good reason—he'll get burnt out sooner rather than later. As he told Australia's News.com:

It's this cyclical thing. I could have said when the first 'Avengers' came out: 'It's never going to get any better than that. Everybody stop'. But to me it's always about people and opportunities, like the Russos, who I adore. Everyone says to me it's like a glove that fits so well. I have to start over every time but I am starting over with a pretty solid base. I just never want to blow it for the last six or seven [MCU movies] I have done by dropping the ball because I decided to go do it one more time. I just want to hang up my jersey before it's embarrassing.

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And you have to respect his reasoning. Even though the Iron Man movies have turned him into one of the highest-paid actors in the world—with Downey Jr. earning an estimated $200 million per movie—he's giving up the money before either his performance or the movies get old.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for Esquire.com
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