Actor Robert Downey Jr. knows that at some point in his career he will eventually give up his role of Iron Man and Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
That is not going to happen yet this year or until 2019 because after “Captain America: Civil War” which shall be hitting theaters on May 6, he shall be taking on the Iron Man suit and the Tony Stark persona, at least, two more times in the two-part “Avengers: Infinity War.”
So unless Marvel Studios is looking at a cameo appearance for his character in future stand-alone movies of the other Avengers, then the third and fourth superhero ensemble films are going to be Robert Downey Jr.’s swan song in the MCU, notes State of the State Ks.
Those who have been waiting and expecting an “Iron Man 4” sometime down the road would be disappointed to know that there is not going to be one. Robert Downey Jr. confirmed in a recent interview that “Iron Man 4” is not in the cards of Marvel Studios.
He said that after “Captain America: Civil War” for him, it will be back to the thing that they all recognize, referring to the thunder of an Avengers movie. He said that when an Avengers movie is in the works, everything else takes a backseat, alluding to other stand-alone Marvel films.
A market niche
The reason why “Iron Man 4” has been in the rumor mills and also a great possibility is because of the fact that the franchise is a money-maker for Marvel Studios.
In fact, the third movie shown in 2013 earned more than US$1.2 billion, placing it at the 10th spot of the all-time highest grossing movies.
It is just too bankable not to be considered by Marvel. However, the MCU has already evolved. Unlike before when only an “Iron Man” film makes money, over the past couple of years, the other stand-alone movies of Captain America and Thor have done the same so there is no more monopoly for Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr.
According to critics, given the success of Marvel Studios in its superhero movies, they no longer need a fourth Tony Stark stand-alone adventure, notes the Day Herald.
The initiator of success
At the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe some five years ago, Iron Man may have defined Phase One because all his movies made more money than any other Avengers stand-alone films that followed. It seems that things started to change sometime late in 2013.
“Iron Man” made $585 million, “Iron Man 2” made $623 million, and “Iron Man 3” made $1.2 billion. The other stand-alone films of Marvel superheroes did not do much as “The Incredible Hulk” made $263 million, “Thor” made $449 million, and “Captain America: The First Avenger” made $370 million.
The two Avengers films can hardly be considered in the same equation since those two films are basically Tony Stark-centered movies as well.
But beginning with “Thor: The Dark World” late in 2013, things began to change for Marvel for the better. The movie made $642 million, outgrossing the first two Iron Man films. In 2014, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” grossed $714 million before “Guardians of the Galaxy” amassed $773 million and established Marvel as a brand unto itself.
In short, Marvel does not need an “Iron Man 4” to ensure continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the upcoming showing of “Captain America: Civil War” on May 6, more stand-alone Marvel movies will follow including “Doctor Strange,” “Black Panther,” and “Spider-Man.”
It has been widely speculated previously that if and when “Iron Man 4” is greenlit by Marvel Studios for a possible 2019 or 2020 release date, the actor would no longer be as agile as he was or is as the age factor would have already caught up with him by then.
In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, Downey admitted that he is getting old for his action superhero role and also for donning the Iron Man suit.