Comic-Con 2014

Robert Downey Jr. Won't Be Back for 'Iron Man 4' But Will Return for 'The Avengers 2' and '3'

Insiders claim the 48-year-old actor does not want to return for another stand-alone sequel as superhero Tony Stark.
Robert Downey Jr. in talks for The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3
Robert Downey Jr. in talks for The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3
Actor Robert Downey Jr. held a private dinner in Los Angeles last night to celebrate the success of Iron Man 3, but also to begin negotiations for The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3. While the actor is open to returning for the Marvel Phase Two and Three sequels to 2012's Marvel's The Avengers, he does not want to return for the potential stand-alone adventure Iron Man 4.

Back in April, we reported that the actor wanted to "retire" his Tony Stark character, but he didn't leave a timetable as to when he wanted to do so. Iron Man 3 was the last movie that Robert Downey Jr. was obligated to do, under his current contract with Marvel Studios.

Bringing Robert Downey Jr. back under a new contract will likely cost Marvel a pretty penny, since he earned an estimated $50 million from the 2012 blockbuster Marvel's The Avengers, after box office bonuses and back-end compensation. According to financial analyst Doug Creutz, the actor's departure could be just as costly.

"It would be a definite negative for that particular franchise. He is Tony Stark. The other individual franchises -- Thor, Captain America, Hulk -- etc., don't have near the level of box-office potential that Iron Man does. The other way to look at it is that Iron Man would probably look more like those other franchises in terms of box-office performance without Downey."

The Avengers 2 is slated for release on May 1, 2015, and The Avengers 3 isn't expected to hit theaters until at least 2017.

Avengers: Age of Ultron comes to theaters May 1st, 2015 and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Elizabeth Olsen, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Cobie Smulders, Jeremy Renner. The film is directed by Joss Whedon.

The Avengers 3 comes to theaters in 2019 and stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson.

Sources: Heat Vision Blog

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Comments (88)

  1. Scott Forster

    @Megg: There is a way they could continue with Iron Man 4. Use James Rhodes. In the comics he temporarily took over for Tony Stark

    1 week agoby @Scott-ForsterFlag

  2. Megg

    I think that we don't need any more stand-alone Iron Man films (like Iron Man 4). All we need is for Marvel to wrap up other characters' stories with a trilogy, like Cap, Thor, and Hulk. Then, Marvel should make Avengers movies up to 6 or so. After, they can make stand-alones of Black Panther, etc. It would suck to reboot another Marvel movie, and I'm fine with all the actors, because they've done a spectacular job if playing their roles.

    6 months agoby @Megg-10345312Flag

  3. Xenon

    @ which actor from Watchmen.

    These films and Disney saved Marvel from going under, both companies need these films to continue to make money. It's helped to bring in new fans.

    7 months agoby @xenon56Flag

  4. Fatal Feline

    YAY!! Finally! I really hope this is true. I have seenn the Iron Man movies BECAUSE Downey is in them. I have loved him throughout his career, and though he is always terrific to watch, his abilities are being wasted here. Give me Tropic Thunder. Give me Singing Detective. Give me A Scanner Darkly. I loved him in Sherlock Holmes! He's great as Tony Stark, and they'll never be able to replace him, but I've long for the day he gives up the franchise and explores other venues, breathes life into other characters and is able to once again blow us away with his incredible talent and creativity. All I can add is, 'Welcome back, Robert! Your lifelong fans followed you into the world of super heroes, but we are damn happy to have you free to take on the myriad of characters that exist inside you."

    9 months agoby @Fatal-FelineFlag

  5. Misung Park

    this bad with out him is nothing no ironman4

    1 year agoby @Misung-ParkFlag

  6. CelluloidDreams

    Guess the rent is not due!!

    1 year agoby @2movieguysFlag

  7. Sean

    @ Why are you posting that spoiler related information all over this website? I have a theory that Robert Downey's character "Tony Stark", will find a way to continue to wear what ever Iron Man suits he builds after the ones he *SPOILER* -> blows up. I think he will wear them like how Iron Patriot/War Machine does, meaning that he won't have to worry about having the chest piece hole in his chest that is *SPOILER* -> no longer there. Also, when you want to post something like what you posted below, make sure to use he word spoiler and in all caps, so that if anyone who hasn't seen the movie is reading what you post, then they won't get spoiled reading all of it.

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  8. Ayla Ovalles

    No More Iron Man R.I.P.

    1 year agoby @Ayla-OvallesFlag

  9. T. King (Red Camera Man)

    Don't need a 4th "Iron Man" movie, but just as long as he returns for a 2nd and 3rd "Avengers" film.

    1 year agoby @redcameramanFlag

  10. LuxoIII

    @riley-d Yes. Facial hair.

    1 year agoby @brady1138Flag

  11. LuxoIII

    @titanictom Okay, having reread your comment a couple of times, I now get what you mean. I took it as it was set before Avengers and that all of IM3 was a flashback beforehand. My apologies.

    That's an interesting thought, though!

    1 year agoby @brady1138Flag

  12. Riley

    facial hair talk now?

    1 year agoby @riley-dFlag

  13. Titanictom

    LuxollI I spell Better Than Most People. 2nd Post Means after as in After the Fight In N.Y. {The Avengers} 3rd Dr Banner Has More than a Month of Hair On His Face in The After/Post Credit Sequence at The End Of The Film!!!! I've Gone about 6 Weeks without Shaving and Had About Just as Much Hair on My Face!!! Hair Can Grow at Different Raits of Speed on Different People Plus The Hair[s] Can be Trimmed.....DUH!!!!!!!

    1 year agoby @titanictomFlag

  14. LuxoIII

    1. Learn to spell.
    2. How is it a flashback when Tony Stark is having PTSD FROM FIGHTING THE ALIENS FROM THE AVENGERS!!!!? And wouldn't grown facial indicate more time has passed since, you know, beards tend to grow AFTER you have a clean face. Maybe I need to re-consult my chin...

    1 year agoby @brady1138Flag

  15. LuxoIII

    @supermanvenom I don't see them replacing him, though. As long as Robert Downey Jr. is involved, I doubt they'll just have "another Iron Man" out of nowhere. I just don't think there will be an IM4 during Phase 3. It'll be pretty crowded, anyway :)

    1 year agoby @brady1138Flag

  16. Titanictom

    I.M.3 Takes Place Only A Short Time After The Evengers-In The Post Credit Footage You Will Notace Dr. Banner Has A Month or Two Of Facel Hair on Him...I.M.3 is a Flashback!!!!!!! People Really Need To Pay Attention When They see a Movie!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 year agoby @titanictomFlag

  17. StephieBaybee

    So theres no news of im4 coming soon? suppose by the time marvel works through all their other projects RDJ will have moved onto other things, who wants to be type cast forever (reguardless of how awesome the role was) they'll pull him out the cupboard when the times right and hopefully find someone who'll fill RDJ's boots. Seemed to work with Spiderman and Batman (even though thats dc) x

    1 year agoby @steph-xFlag

  18. Riley

    Holy Sh*t is he no longer capable of building Iron Man Suits?
    That's all it takes, something will happen that brings him back into action and he'll build a suit or will have already built a suit. One suit still remained by the ending of IM3 and who's to say he doesn't still have a spare just in case?
    And who cares about his injury being fixed. Rhodes as War Machine proves you don't need an Arc Reactor in your chest to be an Iron Man

    And for all the people saying 'I can't 'see' anyone else as Iron Man it's time to get your eyes checked. In this day and age other people are perfectly capable of taking over a role once made famous by another actor. Otherwise things like James Bond, Smallville, Incredible Hulk, ASM (Andy Garfield not the film) and... hey The Dark Knight Trilogy wouldn't exist. I love Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal of Tony Stark. But if some time down the line they want to reboot this whole thing, or recast him in current continuity, I will welcome his replacement. We will only know how great or horrible (George Clooney, Brandon Routh) it will be when it happens. Terrance Howard and Edward Norton have already started this. Sitting at home on movie night with a smirk and your arms crossed because RDJ has moved on is pointless.

    That all being said, I would hope that they don't recast anyone until they wrap up this MCU run. The idea of Tony just showing up in Avengers films is fine with me. That seems to be what they are doing with the Hulk as there is no Hulk sequel planned for Phase Two. Going in to this, I never even thought of an endgame for this whole thing. How long can this go on? Will they just constantly make sequels to everything and recast when they need to like a soap opera? Or will they reboot things? That can get out of hand quick.

    1 year agoby @riley-dFlag

  19. Escapist

    Dude is 48?! Looks good for his age, but then again so does Samuel L. Jackson.

    1 year agoby @escapistFlag

  20. Sean

    @undeadslayer4 That won't work because no one else can play Tony Stark better then he can. So hopefully, that won't happen, that someone else would play Tony Stark. But yes, he does need to be in Iron Man 4 and The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3, in order for them to be successful movies in the box office, and in order for them to even be good movies in the first place.

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  21. undeadslayer4

    @themoviefanatic they will screw up iron man with replacing jr. and putting him in the avengers 2 and 3

    1 year agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  22. Monkeyiron 2.0

    That makes no sense though. The Events of "IronMan 3" was one year after the events of The Avengers not between 2 and 3

    1 year agoby @monkeyiron2-0Flag

  23. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @thedude-abides Plus, he owes us one more Sherlock Holmes before he quits being part of any franchise

    1 year agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  24. Andrey Andre'y

    "Can anyone please explain how the heck he's going to even be in AV2 or AV3 given the way IM3 ended as @Rexorthedestroyer references below? They can't say it happened before IM3 or that he somehow miraculously has the same injury happen again before AV2/AV3 because both of those would be LAME. So how can they even have a story that makes half-sense for one, to say nothing of 2, more Avengers sequels and have Stark in them? Makes me think the next AV sequel's gonna suck itself and maybe implode the franchise if they insist on him being in it." Ummmm are you for real? No heart injury is needed to operate the suit, the arc reactor can be part of his suit just like war machine. I sear some people have no imagination at all.

    1 year agoby @Andrey-AndreyFlag

  25. Sean

    The link I posted below is of Robert Downey Jr's latest appearance in the Jimmy Kimmel show. Where if I am not mistaken, they talk about Robert Downey jr being in marvel movies after Iron Man 3.

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  26. renodc

    I wouldn't jump to conclusions here. This doesn't appear to be an official announcement. The tag line on the main page says that "insiders claim" which means as of right now this is nothing but rumor.

    1 year agoby @renodcFlag

  27. Sean

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  28. JMP

    maybe the Guardians of the Galaxy will give Tony Stark and advanced Space armor and he will joined them at the end of Avengers 2 and comes back with them to finished the fight at part 3...but thats my theory

    1 year agoby @jmpFlag

  29. Clint

    Can anyone please explain how the heck he's going to even be in AV2 or AV3 given the way IM3 ended as @Rexorthedestroyer references below? They can't say it happened before IM3 or that he somehow miraculously has the same injury happen again before AV2/AV3 because both of those would be LAME. So how can they even have a story that makes half-sense for one, to say nothing of 2, more Avengers sequels and have Stark in them? Makes me think the next AV sequel's gonna suck itself and maybe implode the franchise if they insist on him being in it.

    1 year agoby @pack-rulz1978Flag

  30. moviemouse


    perfect, i always wanted iron man to stay as a trilogy and i couldn't be happier for RDJ to return for a 3rd avengers movie let alone a second i really had my doubts that he would so this is great news

    1 year agoby @moviemouseFlag

  31. Erikajinx

    He should just make an appearence in the avengers movies and just quit making the stand alone. No else is that good can replace RDJ. This can be his Iron man triligy

    1 year agoby @ErikajinxFlag

  32. masterofthemoon

    Yeah like Disney is really hurting for cash after all of the money they got for The Avengers last Summer and all the other Disney related things they get cash from (i.e. Parks, Merchandise, Movies, Music) I take this with a grain of salt!

    1 year agoby @masterofthemoonFlag

  33. Newtron

    Good job, Rob. Smart move, sir.

    1 year agoby @newtronFlag

  34. thedude-abides

    Good. It's time. Better to not fall into the Hugh Jackman/Johnny Depp (Wolverine & Jack Sparrow) mode and stay with the character too long simply because you can't let it go. The fact that he's over 50 doesn't matter; 6 films is more than enough. It's time to move aside and let someone else take the reigns. And, like I've said countless times before, if it were up to me, my pick would be Joel Kinneman.

    1 year agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  35. Ghostman

    @Sean-Ryan-Culligan ....Or James Bond is a Time-Lord. Ever thought of that?

    1 year agoby @ghostmanFlag

  36. mikehd

    It's going to extremely difficult to replace him great actor

    1 year agoby @mikehdFlag

  37. Rexorthedestroyer

    The Iron Man story is complete, the character arch is done, he took the thing out of his chest, threw it in the sea, exploded all his suits, this sh*t is over.

    Anything else added to this is going to be sh*tty, especially without Robert Downy Jr.

    1 year agoby @RexorthedestroyerFlag

  38. Steve_UK_FilmFanatic

    Actors get old, deal with it. Unless you would like to see a 80 year Iron Man flying through the sky having heart attacks every 10 seconds.

    Recasting will be difficult but thats just how it is. Actors are temporary, film is forever.

    Just hold on hope that RDJ will pop up when they get to making the future storyline with the children of Panther, Cap, Thor and Hawkeye.

    1 year agoby @Steve-UK-FilmFanaticFlag

  39. kbelliveau

    It's good to know that he is still interested in doing the Avengers films, because there is still plenty of story to be told in those films. Iron Man 3 wrapped everything up, and Iron Man 4 would need to be a reboot for continuity issues with the Avengers. Smart play, RDJ. You are the man, perhaps the only real reason to watch the Avengers 2 and 3.

    1 year agoby @kbelliveauFlag

  40. Trangalanga10

    That's actually perfect, that means Marvel has time to wrap up Thor, Cap and Hulk's storylines, each having their own trilogy like Iron Man, with the potential A4, A5 and A6's films, telling other superheros stories, that's genius. I thought IM3's ending was horrible, but given this news is actually fantastic, wrapping up Stark's story, Fantastic.

    1 year agoby @Trangalanga10Flag

  41. CoreyB

    Here's my opinion... Iron Man 1=Spectacular, Iron Man 2=good, The Avengers= Really Good! and Iron Man 3=Really Good! In all 4 films, RDJR killed! He took a comic book character who many knew, but before 2008, didnt really care whether a movie was developed or not. I enjoyed Iron Man 3 and I'll go as far as saying Downey gave his best performance. We shouldn't all flip out that reports are saying he is only going to do Avengers 2&3 because lets face it...That's 2 more hugeeee movies over the next 4 years that he'll be back for and they can wrap up his story for sure. I actually felt like Iron Man 3 did a pretty good job wrapping up his stand alone films, so anything else is just bonus! They need to finish up the other characters' storylines like Thor, CAmerica and Hulk the last 2 Avengers movies and stop for a long time...What's with this ohhh they'll reboot it all in 5 years talk?! Why?! Let it sit, this isnt some sh*tty franchise/storyline... Mayb reboot the thing in 15-20 yrs if that! And people on here complaining about the Mandarin...Calm down will ya?! The Mandarin was in the movie just not the way you expected (and Ben Kingsley did a bang up job.)

    1 year agoby @CoreyBFlag

  42. Junior Roberts

    I find it hilarious that everyone is now fighting for RDJ to stay when a few years back, when marvel announced he would be IM/Tony Stark, everybody made a big fuss about how wrong Marvel got it. No one believed he could pull off that character especially around the time it was announced due to his own troubles in real life. But not only did he do it, HE OWNED IT. And now y'all are saying "only" RDJ could play IM/TOny Stark. Give me a break. Honestly, I think Marvel should set a standard rule that the roles of these main characters (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, etc) should be held by one actor for 3 standalone films and 2 group films. After that, RECAST!!! IF they want, they could even go as far as recasting them all at once as the result of a major event in a movie, the same way marvel does every few years when they change the look and feel of the characters.

    @rocknrolla I completely agree. As much as Iron Man is guaranteed money for them with RDJ, they have to be realistic and realize he's not gonna play that character forever. They have to start opening up their rolodex of superheroes and start creating more standalone films for various characters.

    @riley-d... I fully agree in regards to the Bond situation. Bond is NOT a moniker. Each film could almost be considered a reboot since they never really refer to previous films. To be real, there is truly no definitive timeline in the Bond world.

    1 year agoby @junior-robertsFlag

  43. Brizzy

    My hypothesis: Downey has realised that he is far to great of an actor to keep playing in movies without reason (IronMan3 = to get money, nothing else).
    Let's be honest, IronMan3 was just a cash cow, look at what the f*ck they did to the Mandarin.
    I don't mind, I think this is smart of him.

    1 year agoby @BrizzyFlag

  44. the Narrator

    I'm not quite sure how to feel about this. Iron Man 3 was spectacularly disappointing even with slightly lowered expectations. That's not even mentioning the Mandarin twist. I had trouble embracing the films direction, but little trouble in noticing its flaws while I was watching the film, to say nothing of the drive home. If this is indeed the final solo-salvo for Tony Stark, I just might be in favor of a recast down the line...

    1 year agoby @narratorFlag

  45. Hideki Ryuga

    I like the idea of focusing in other characters

    1 year agoby @h-ryugaFlag

  46. Superman81

    They better have Pepper's fine ass in the both Avenger movies.

    1 year agoby @superman81Flag

  47. cryhawks

    There doesn't need to be another Iron Man movie as long as he's in the Avengers movies that's good enough because I can't imagine anyone else playing Tony Stark. Robert Downy Jr is that character in every way

    1 year agoby @cryhwksFlag

  48. JasonKat

    He doesnt really need to hang up the suit tho. They can stop and/or "pause" making iron man films, thats all. maybe just1 every 6or 7 yrs, that way the other super heros can play "catch up." So on the other hand. we will still see iron man, just not in his own films, rather in avengers 2,3,4 5 ect. Hell not even that. we can even see him in the hulk remake with Mark Ruffalo, or perhaps thor 3. maybe spiderman 3.
    Because i feel that robert is tired and needs a break from being the main or lead guy from the group. thats where avengers come in. he wont have to much presure on his back because he'll only make lil parts for his role. if that makes sense.

    1 year agoby @jasonkatFlag

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