'Captain America: Civil War' Almost Didn't Happen -- Here's Why

Thank you, Robert Downey, Jr. Thank you.

We've still got a long way to go until "Captain America: Civil War" hits theaters in 2016, but that long wait is better than no wait at all.

Although Marvel wanted Robert Downey, Jr. to go to war with Captain America in the third installment of the latter's franchise, the "Iron Man" star initially didn't want to reprise his role as billionaire playboy Tony Stark after "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" and its sequel because it was "getting old."

So, it was up to the studio to swoop in and save the day by giving the actor a new reason to suit up once more.

“They said to me, ‘If we have you, we can do this, or Cap 3 has to be something else,” Downey said, according to Empire (via ScreenRant).

“It’s nice to feel needed. And at his point it’s about helping each other, too. I look at it as a competition and I go, ‘Wow, maybe if these two franchises teamed up and I can take even a lesser position, with people I like and directors I respect, maybe we can keep things bumping along.”

The key “bump” in this case is Downey’s Stark butting heads with the Cap over the controversial Superhero Registration Act. It’s a friction that’s been brewing since “The Avengers,” pitting hero against hero when it comes to the United States government forcing anyone with superhuman abilities to report their identity.

“Captain America: Civil War” is set to begin production this spring for a May 6, 2016 release date.