Robert Downey Jr. arguably kickstarted the ongoing superhero movie wave, and the actor shocked fans when he hinted that he might not be wearing Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor for too much longer. The Hollywood A-lister put those fears to rest in a recent interview though, seemingly saying that he’s got no plans to hang up the Iron Man armor in the near future.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Marvel’s forthcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron will mark the fifth time that Downey has put on the Iron Man armor and speculation has been running high that Downey might be tiring of his role as Tony Stark, centerpiece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
That speculation kicked into high gear last month when Downey told Variety that there were no plans for a fourth Iron Man movie, leading some to believe that Downey’s character could bite the big one in a forthcoming Marvel film. Not so, though, says Downey in a recent interview with THR.
“I’m sure we’ll ride that [Iron Man] thing,” Downey said. “You’ve got to surf that all the way in to shore.”
That certainly doesn’t sound like a man who is ready to give up the Iron mask. What exactly does that mean for the future of the Iron Man franchise?
Well, Downey may very well hold onto the role, but that doesn’t mean that he has to do Iron Man solo movies. The character will, of course, appear in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and it’s likely that he will appear in the third Avengers movie (or movies) when it is released.
That would mean that Downey’s Iron Man would appear at least twice and possibly as many as three times or more in the next few years. That’s not even counting possible cameos and smaller parts in other Marvel movies.
Another reason Downey’s likely to hold onto the role is the money. The 49-year-old star made $75 million over the past year, due largely to the fact that Iron Man 3 pulled in $1.2 billion globally last year. According to Forbes, that made Downey the highest-paid actor in the world for the second year in a row. That’s not easy money to walk away from, and Marvel will likely continue to pay Downey handsomely so long as those movies keep performing they way they have.
So you can probably look forward to seeing Robert Downey Jr. showing up in the Iron Man armor for some time to come. When the moment does arrive for RDJ to hang up the gauntlets, don’t be too concerned. Marvel has already demonstrated that it’s got the chops to produce hit after hit with or without Downey as its anchor.