It’s not even on the official release schedule Marvel Studios unveiled at Comic-Con 2014, yet Iron Man 4 has had media outlets buzzing lately.
The buzz started shortly after the release of Iron Man 3. With the arc reactor technology, which powered the Iron Man suits, no long in Tony Stark’s chest, and Robert Downey Jr.’s initial contract with Marvel Studios ending, fans worried that the third Iron Man outing would be the last. Downey let fanboys everywhere breathe a sigh of relief when he signed an extension of his contract, meaning he would continue to play Tony Stark and Iron Man for at least a few more movies.
Fans may have assumed that guaranteed a fourth installment in the Iron Man franchise, but Downey dashed those hopes, saying, “There isn’t one in the pipe. No, there’s no plan for a fourth Iron Man.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Tony Stark is banished from the Marvel Universe. Robert Downey Jr. is contracted to put on the Iron Man suit again in Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015 and Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 in 2018. He is also expected to appear in Captain America: Civil War, which is due out in 2016. Oddly, there has been no mention of Robert Downey Jr.’s involvement in the next scheduled Avengers movie, Avengers: Infinity War Part 2, which is due for release May 3, 2019. Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 is expected to be the final film in phase three of the Marvel Universe. Could Tony Stark have a date with death in Avengers: Infinity War Part 1?
Gwyneth Paltrow has also raised eyebrows with recent statements. In a recent interview, the actress was asked about returning to the role of Pepper Potts, Tony Stark’s personal assistant turned girlfriend.
“I don’t know, I’d like to do it. But they might swap me out for an 18-year-old Pepper Potts or something.”
According to Flickering Myth, Paltrow was never confirmed to appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron or Captain America: Civil War. It seems unlikely that Pepper would just disappear from Tony’s life, but maybe there’s more to Paltrow’s statement than a simple joke.
Odd rumors surfaced that there will indeed be an Iron Man 4, but not anytime soon. Reportedly, Iron Man 4 will hit theaters in 2019, after Marvel Phase 3 wraps. Don’t expect to see Robert Downey Jr. on the posters, because reportedly he will be replaced by Ty Simpkins. You may not remember the name, but Ty Simpkins is no newcomer to the Marvel universe. He appeared as Harley Keener, the young boy with whom Tony Stark bonds in Iron Man 3. In 2019, Simpkins will be 17, maybe just old enough to play a very young heir to the Iron Man suit.
Whether or not the casting change rumors are true, a Marvel movie marathon may be in order.