May 17, 2022

Robert Downey Jr., a two-time Academy Award nominee, shocked his fans recently by unfollowing numerous Marvel Cinematic Universe castmates and filmmakers on Instagram. The 56-year-old “Avengers” star has unfollowed fellow Marvel cast members Tom Holland, Chris Evans, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Pratt, Mark Ruffalo, and Chris Hemsworth.

This also comes only days before Scarlett Johansson, 36, stars in her first MCU standalone picture, “Black Widow,” on July 9.

This social media issue with the “Avengers” split went largely unnoticed during the holiday weekend — but an increasing number of Iron Man/Tony Stark fans are expressing their confusion online.

“I wasn’t ready for RDJ to unfollow the whole Marvel cast, it’s like the end of an era,” one Marvel fan tweeted.

Another admirer pleaded for Downey Jr. to rejoin the cast.

The truth is, he unfollowed not just MCU characters; none of Downey’s current 43 followers are actors, suggesting possibilities not related to probable bad blood.

His Instagram bio also encourages followers to “become involved” with Downey’s Footprint Coalition, a group of environmental investors.

While some fans were freaking out, others had a more rational explanation, stating that it was most likely due to Downey rebranding his Instagram account to focus on his company and environmental issues rather than his films. Another suggested that Downey has a new social media manager. His longtime assistant, Jimmy, has recently passed away.

Despite the fans’ disappointment, Downey continues to follow his former coworkers on Twitter.

It does raise the possibility, though, of Tony Stark returning to the MCU, considering Downey’s recent concentration on non-actor endeavors as evidenced by his Instagram feed.

At the climax of Avengers: Endgame, Robert’s character Tony Stark/Iron Man bravely died in defeating Thanos.

Robert and producer Susan Levin, with whom he has a nine-year-old son Exton and a six-year-old daughter Avri, will celebrate their sixteenth wedding anniversary on August 27. Downey is also the father of 27-year-old Indio, who was born during his 12-year marriage to Deborah Falconer in 2004.