You already knew that Robert Downey Jr was important to Marvel and the MCU. Without him, there wouldn't be a franchise as Iron Man became the foundation stone (and most powerful brand) in the entire thing. And none of that would have been possible without the insistence of Jon Favreau that nobody but RDJ (then a wildcard actor on lots of blacklists for bad behaviour) could play Tony Stark.
Just think - we could have had a world where Tom Cruise was Iron Man... Shudder-inducing, is it not?
Since that fateful decision, Iron Man has made an outrageous amount of money for the MCU and the actor has been able to negotiate his own contracts from an almost entirely invulnerable position. All he has to do is make it seem like he might be leaving and he can probably write any sort of figure he wants in the "how do we keep you?" answer box.
That's why he's reportedly being paid $200 million for Infinity War and Avengers 4 and why he got $80m for Iron Man 3. And in both cases, it's a drop in the ocean of what the films have or will make. And everyone involved in those deals knows that it's at least partly down to his involvement (try saying he's not one of the best parts of Avengers: Infinity War. Go on, try it.)
What that means also, is that his smaller roles - which might offer an insight into what he'll do if he's not killed off in Avengers 4 (as a sort of ambassador of assurance to allow fans to know that the new properties have his stamp of approval) - still make him a stunning amount of money.
According to Variety, RDJ earned $10 million in Spider-Man: Homecoming for instance. For about 15 minutes of screen-time. Which - maths fans - means he earned around $666k a minute. Or more than $11k a second of screen-time. He was literally paid about $33k to turn Tom Holland's limo hug down.
But if that's the kind of money that makes the MCU as good as it is, who are we as fans to question it? It's not like it affects us even slightly.