Robert Downey Jr.—the man who gave us Tony Stark and kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe—said in an interview with Variety that the future of the Iron Man franchise isn't looking well. When asked about the possibility of doing Iron Man 4, Downey said:
"There isn't one in the pipe. No, there's no plan for a fourth Iron Man."
Cue the sound of doves crying and children being let down. We know that Robert Downey Jr. had to renegotiate his contract to appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron and the so far untitled Avengers 3, but fans realized that a fourth Iron Man film wasn't part of the deal. This has led to huge fan speculation as to whether Tony will end up joining the Guardians of the Galaxy, as he does in the comics, or if he'll be killed in the second or third Avengers film, or if he'll be just a background character that only pops up here and there or is only mentioned on occasion.
Another idea that's been thrown around is that Marvel will simply recast the Armored Avenger. When asked if he'd let Marvel recast the character, he said:
"I like that the idea is that it would be up to me, like I'm casting director for Marvel."Obviously Downey doesn't have authority over at Marvel Studios, but he's definitely been their cash cow for years now. However, with the success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, who's to say Marvel even NEEDS Iron Man right now? Chris Pratt completely took us by storm as Star-Lord, people are going nuts over Rocket and Groot, Tom Hiddleston's Loki is still adored by fans, and Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier has become a new fan-favorite. With Thor, Black Widow, and all of these other characters that Marvel hasn't even introduced yet (Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Ultron, Vision, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel), do they really need a fourth Iron Man?
Look, if they announced tomorrow that Iron Man 4 starring Robert Downey Jr. would be part of Phase III, I'd lose my shit just like anyone else. Unfortunately, I really don't think Marvel needs Iron Man anymore. He's a great character, performed by a solid and much adored actor, and has been the backbone for the MCU, but he had his trilogy, he'll still be in the next two Avengers films, and there is a pool of characters yet to be utilized. I think it's time to share the love we've given Robert Downey Jr. to other great talents in the Marvel universe.
What do YOU think about Robert Downey Jr.'s words? Do you think they'll eventually do Iron Man 4? Will they recast RDJ if they do? Could Iron Man die in Avengers 3? Let us know what you think in the comments section! Thanks for reading, everyone! My name is Sam Lascio, and I am a Fanboy!