Thanks to Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. has been on top of the world since 2008.
After an extended stint on Hollywood’s C-list (a rep as a drug-abusing bad boy will do that to you), Marvel gave Downey Jr. the opportunity of a lifetime by casting the unproven star in the title role of the film adaptation of its popular comic.
At the time, it was a gamble because it was the first film in Phase I of Marvel’s cinematic plans. If Iron Man tanked, chances are we might not have seen Captain America, Thor or The Avengers.
The roll of the dice was a success and led to Downey’s $50-million payday for The Avengers.
But with the release of the third instalment next month, and the propensity for Hollywood to recast lead roles in ongoing franchises (Bond, Spider-Man, Batman), he knows the part won’t be his forever.
“At whatever point I’m done with this, I’m going to have a bit of a crisis, because I probably haven’t even fully ingested how much I’ve enjoyed it, how much it’s meant,” Downey Jr. tells GQ.
Downey Jr. doesn’t have a deal in place for Iron Man 4 or Avengers 2.
When asked if he would quit the character at age 50 (he’s 48), Downey Jr. replied, “I don’t know. Right now I don’t have a contract to do anything, and I did for the last five years.”
Downey Jr. is expected back for The Avengers 2 – “I like being a company man… and I still feel there’s a couple other things we’ve gotta do.” he said last month.
Iron Man 3 marks the start of Marvel’s Phase II, which continues with Thor: The Dark World, next year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians Of The Galaxy and, in 2015, The Avengers 2.
After that, the company will move on to Phase III, adding new characters Ant-Man and Doctor Strange into the mix.
“So much of the stories we’re telling is about the core ‘Avengers’ characters we’ve now met, and they’ll be evolving in big, surprising ways, in Cap’s next movie and Thor’s next movie and of course in Iron Man 3, as we get them all into the next Avengers film,” Marvel’s movie boss Kevin Feige said in an interview with Empire earlier this year.
“Beyond that… Ant-Man is the only one officially announced, but you probably don’t have to look too far to guess at the next list of characters we’re toying with and beginning to develop.”
So while we might get an Iron Man 4, it doesn’t look like it’ll come anytime soon.
What do you think? Should Downey Jr. turn in his armor after Avengers 2, or do you want to see him play Tony Stark a couple of more times? Let us know in the comments.
You can also check out the latest trailer for Iron Man 3 and a six-minute behind-the-scenes look at the new film below.