Robert Downey Jr. is embracing his MCU role as Tony Stark in real life with the launch of his brand new project that will use advanced technology to save the environment. Debuting as the genius, billionaire in the MCU more than 10 years ago, Downey found critical acclaim for brilliantly portraying the character. Now that he has officially exited the superhero franchise following Avengers: Endgame, that doesn't mean that he's also dropping his Stark persona. In fact, he's even leaning into it with his latest endeavor.
MCU's culminating film directed by Joe and Anthony Russo crafted an emotional sendoff to Downey and his iconic superhero character, albeit a little bit sad for his loyal fans. In the film, the Avengers successfully accomplished what was deemed impossible - bring back everyone dusted off by Thanos' snap in Avengers: Infinity War. But with the Mad Titan still posing a threat to the universe, Stark wielded the the power of all Infinity Stones to take him out and all his minions, killing himself in the process. It was a bittersweet ending to the character's tremendous journey in the last decade, but it was a fitting way to send him off thematically. The MCU will significantly be different without Iron Man in it, and fans will undoubtedly miss Downey in the role, but maybe not so much since he looks like he's becoming Tony in real life.
During Amazon's Re: Mars conference in Las Vegas which Variety covered, Downey delivered a keynote speech where he talked extensively about his career, particularly his experience playing Tony Stark in the MCU, as well as artificial intelligence which fans know is a key part of the character in the films. Toward the end, he announced the launch of a new organization called The Footprint Coalition aiming to use advanced technology for the good of the environment. “Between robotics and nanotechnology, we could clean up the planet significantly, if not totally, in 10 years. God I love experts. They’re like Wikipedia with character defects,” he jokingly said during the talk. Scheduled to officially debut April of 2020, Downey didn't share plan specifics yet but its website is now live where people can sign up to learn more about the movement.
Outside of his Marvel character, Downey has dabbled in artificial intelligence-centric projects such as producing a docu-series about the topic for YouTube with wife, Susan Downey. The eight-episode, hour-long show was announced last year and is expected to debut on YouTube Red this year. Aside from that, the actor offered to voice Mark Zuckerberg's digital assistant in the past as well. He was also involved in non-profit charity Limbitless Solutions presenting a 3D-printed bionic arm to a young boy who was born with a partially developed arm, although he kept his Tony Stark persona throughout the whole meet-up.
With limited information about The Footprint Coalition at this point, it's hard to gauge how effective this new project will be since it's such a massive undertaking. But initiatives like this could't come at a better time considering the threat of environmental crisis throughout the world becoming more pressing and Downey is the perfect ambassador for this. He's long been synonymous to Tony Stark who also had lofty goals regarding preserving Mother Earth using technology, and using him as the face of this new venture will definitely attract more interest that could ultimately make it successful.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019