A fourth Iron Man film had been rumored for years, even before the revelation of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Robert Downey Jr. had portrayed the genius/billionaire since 2008 and only had three solo flicks within 11 years of Marvel Cinematic Universe films. There was definitely another time to sneak a fourth Iron Man flick into the MCU, and it certainly would have made hundreds of millions, probably crossing the billion-dollar mark. It turns out there’s a reason the studio decided to pass on Iron Man 4, and the Endgame writers are explaining why, and it’s because it was time to take chances on new characters and other franchises.
Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus have been talking all things Endgame since it’s premiere in April. They recently expanded on why Iron Man 4 didn’t happen, no matter how badly fans were hoping for it. Vanity Fair caught up with the writers, who said that any other studio probably would have made a fourth film, but they decided against it.
“Whether you like all of the 24 movies or not, the capital that Marvel built up allowed them to do things like make a movie starring a raccoon and a tree, right? You would’ve already had Iron Man 4 if it was any other studio. But they decided, ‘No, we’re going to take chances on all these other things.’ To put a flag in the ground and say, We’re going to end something and take characters off the table, is, I think, kind of daring, but selfishly it was really great for us.”
Iron Man 3 debuted in 2013, giving the studio six years to make another solo film if they wanted to. There wasn’t even an Iron Man film in Phase 3, which differed from other characters and their own films including Thor and Captain America.
McFeely and Markus also noted that the studio knew they were going to kill off Tony Stark “years before Endgame.” This also put a nail in the coffin for an Iron Man 4 film after the events of Endgame, which was another rumor fans put a lot of hope into.
“If Tony made it out the other side, and Iron Man 4 was waiting there, you’d be like, [shakes head] One too many…” Markus continued.
According to the writers, there needed to be an end for Tony Stark, and it especially had to have meaning behind it. Iron Man’s arc was definitely completed in Avengers: Endgame when he single-handedly saved billions of lives by sacrificing himself. Downey had also previously mentioned earlier this year that he knew it was time to get off the Marvel bus, and he may not have been receptive to a fourth Iron Man after Endgame if it was even offered to him.