When they're not busy saving the universe, it turns out the original Avengers are getting matching tattoos.

Robert Downey Jr has let slip that he was recently inked by celebrity tattooist Joshua Lord – the same New York-based artist who has worked with the likes of Cate Blanchett and Susan Sarandon.

The tattoo is based on the Avengers symbol and incorporates the number six to represent the main character's from Marvel's 2012 film: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye.

However, Downey Jr told Entertainment Weekly only five of the six actors signed up for the group tattoo. Mark Ruffalo, who plays The Hulk, opted out.

"It was [Scarlett] Johansson's idea," he said, referring to the actress who plays Black Widow. "She and [Chris] Evans did it in New York. Then, their New York guy, Josh Lord – who is amazing– flew out to LA. He did me, did [Jeremy] Renner and then we just bullied [Chris] Hemsworth into doing it and he got it."


In lieu of Ruffalo getting inked, Downey Jr let slip that the sixth person to get the tatt was the tattoo artist himself. Each actor contributed, drawing at least one line each on the artist's leg with his own tattoo gun.

"It was a total massacre," the Avengers star joked.

While Jeremy Renner – aka Hawkeye – also got a tattoo, he did not star in the recent Infinity War film. However, the Russo brothers recently told MTV this was a "very specific story choice".

"We have a really interesting story cooked up for both of those characters [Hawkeye and Ant Man]," Joe Russo said. "Part of that story required that they be under house arrest."

Given Renner has appeared in on-set photos with fellow Infinity War cast members, Marvel fans have taken this as confirmation the skilled archer will appear in the 2019 back-to-back sequel.

Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War.

Photo: Marvel Studios

Avengers: Infinity War recently smashed box office records. It scooped up $250 million in box office sales on its opening weekend, beating Star Wars: The Force Awakens to nab the title of the biggest film opening of all time.

The film brings together around two dozen superheroes from the Marvel cinematic universe – including Black Panther and Spiderman – in one of the most star-studded movies ever assembled.

The as-yet untitled Infinity War sequel is due out sometime in May 2019.

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Broede Carmody

Broede Carmody is an entertainment reporter at Fairfax Media.

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