At this point, Robert Downey Jr. has played Tony Stark/Iron Man in five movies (I’m counting his cameo in The Incredible Hulk), but is there an end in sight for the actor? Marvel has made him one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood (currently, he’s raking in $75 million a year), and with Avengers: Age of Ultron and more Iron Man films on the horizon (including an all-but-confirmed Iron Man 4), the answer to that would appear to be a firm no.
Now, Downey has confirmed that he’s interested in sticking around the Marvel Cinematic Universe for more movies. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly on the set of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the actor had this to say:
It’s down to Kevin [Feige, Marvel Studios president] and Ike [Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel Entertainment] and Disney to come to us with what the proposal is, and that’s on us to agree or disagree. When things are going great, there’s a lot of agreement.
Right now, [filming Avengers 2] has just been swell, hasn’t it? This has been a really good one and it feels good and we’re having a good time.
It’s that thing of: Why give up the belt when it feels like you can barely get jabbed? Most people are saying that right when they get knocked out. The future is, as usual, uncertain.
So, based on that, it sounds like neither Feige nor Downey are interested in changing things up too quickly. And why would they be? The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the second highest-grossing movie franchise of all time (just behind Harry Potter, which Age of Ultron will likely help it to overtake), and Downey is an instrumental part of that. Unless director Joss Whedon comes up with a really good reason to kill off the character in either Age of Ultron (in which case Downey is just misleading us here) or a subsequent film, there’s no real reason for the actor to retire his armor.
Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1st, 2015. Iron Man 4 will likely follow in Phase Three.