Robert Downey Jr. Wants to Retire as 'Iron Man'

The 47-year-old actor isn't under contract for any future Marvel movies, and wants to step away from Tony Stark at age 50.
Robert Downey Jr. hints that he may retire from Iron Man in three years
Robert Downey Jr. hints that he may retire from Iron Man in three years
Iron Man 3 star Robert Downey Jr. has hinted that he may step away from his iconic Tony Stark character in three years, when he turns 50. Asked about his on-set injury last year while filming Iron Man 3, the actor hinted that he is "retiring" from superhero movies altogether.

"It got me thinking about how big the message from your cosmic sponsor needs to be before you pick it up. How many genre movies can I do? How many follow-ups to a successful follow-up are actually fun? Because, as quiet as it's kept, I come from a family of very innovative writers and directors and actors and artists, and the circle of friends they were in were the people I heard having pun-offs playing poker at two in the morning, and it was just the most comforting aspect of my childhood. So there's this kind of legacy of souls from what I consider to be a very particular time in entertainment, and I'm sensing a return to's what me and the missus are doing next. It's not unlike: I heard (Tom) Brady signed on for three more years with New England, and then he's done being a QB, because he'll be 40. I'm 47, and I'll be 50."

When asked if he will stop playing superheroes at age 50, he revealed that he isn't under contract at this time.

"I don't know. I don't know. Right now I don't have a contract to do anything, and I did for the last five years."

With The Avengers 2 currently slated for release in 2015, that would fall under the three-year period the actor spoke of, but it seems he may have to negotiate a new deal to return as Tony Stark, since he isn't under contract.

Iron Man 3 was released May 3rd, 2013 and stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale. The film is directed by Shane Black.

Sources: GQ

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Comments (42)

  1. Yolo378816

    Dont QUIT NOW ;( Its all ways been my dream to see Robert in preson. I cried at the movie theater and still have the Avengers tickets and the Iron Man 3 tickets.

    1 year agoby @yolo378816Flag

  2. Sean

    @titanictom I'm sure they do use stuntmen.

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  3. Titanictom

    He Could Still Be T.S. Someone else Could be IronMan [Think Robin as in Batman and Robin} Duh!!!!

    1 year agoby @titanictomFlag

  4. arthurg09

    I think there shoud be no more iron man movies after iron man 3. Not because there bad movies... He'll no there great movies. More for the reason it'll give him well earned rest. Instead maybe have him like a Mark Ruffalo only suiting up in the avengers 3 and making cameo spot in other phase 3 movies just as tony stark. That's what I think should happen unless marvel signs him back with a sweet deal to return.

    1 year agoby @arthurg09Flag

  5. Zak Lee Ferguson

    @brandon-scott-todd i agree solidly with this, except it would be till 2018 Avengers 3 ( i presume) as it will long last the Avengers series and hopefully allow Iron Man 4 to be made :)

    1 year agoby @Zak-Lee-FergusonFlag

  6. Brandon S. Todd

    Joss Whedon and his cynical screenwriting will probably have Tony Stark killed off in Avengers 2 so that will be a problem solved...Downey's Tony Stark cannot be the logical solution is to kill off Stark, and bring in Ant-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, etc...I honestly am about tired of the sarcastic quips of Downey's Stark, and it would be a fitting conclusion for the character if he died a hero much like he almost did in the first Avengers film...

    1 year agoby @brandon-scott-toddFlag

  7. T. King (Red Camera Man)

    The guy does need a break after being Tony Stark/Iron Man for 5 films in the past 5 years (including his cameo at the end of "The Incredible Hulk"), but I do hope he returns for "The Avengers 2."

    1 year agoby @redcameramanFlag

  8. moviemouse

    @pjwolsker they cant have avengers 2 without iron man but avengers 3? i actually wouldn't mind that if RDJ rely wants to leave, i dont think it will hurt the avengers 3 to much if they introduce new members to the team i also think thy should stop after number 3

    1 year agoby @moviemouseFlag

  9. StephieBaybee

    Well its understandable, hes getting older and wants to move onto other things Im sure but for me he will always be iron man :) and in future if they reboot the new guy has a hard act to follow coz RDJ is a class act, love him :) x

    1 year agoby @steph-xFlag

  10. Sean

    @ejk1 I hope that he won't stop playing the role as Tony Stark/Iron Man in Marvel movies as soon as he turns 50.

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  11. ejk1

    I'm not buying what he's saying until he's definitely out. For all we know it's a negotiation tactic.

    1 year agoby @ejk1Flag

  12. Vanboy

    This sucks! I guess he wants to be free to make the sequel to that blockbuster The Soloist.

    1 year agoby @vanboyFlag

  13. Trangalanga10

    That's sad, but is understandable, th producers should give his character a proper conclusion, retiring from saving the world will fit perfectly, thus giving the chance for ohter superheros getting introduced in their own stan alone film and then joining The Avengers. We all know Thor will assume his King role in asgard eventually, Cap will retire to live a normal life or take over as director of Shield, Banner eventually will go on to live alone in the wilderness. There are a lot of characters that could take over, Marvel knows that they want to do this as long as they can. Avengers 3 should be the conclusion of Cap, Thor, Iron Man and Hulk's journey and Avengers 4 the beginning of other Superheros journey with a proper story for a new trilogy or simply wait 10 to 15 years to see this characters older, training new members.

    1 year agoby @Trangalanga10Flag

  14. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @john-m War Machine seems to be the best substitution, assuming Disney just wants more Stark, since he's their Batman

    1 year agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  15. John M

    @bawnian-dexeus: I agree that is the least likely scenario, but I think it might be the most satisfying if done right.

    1 year agoby @john-mFlag

  16. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @john-m He won't be killed off

    1 year agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  17. John M

    @dan1: I agree there are so many other Avengers out there they can use in the Avenger films and possibly have their own films including The Black Knight, The Swordsman (They can even have a story line where he is killed like in the comics.), Vision, Wonder Man, The Wasp and many others.

    Sure they might not be as popular as Iron Man, but they are still good characters and should be given a chance instead of overly focusing on the big on the big 3 (Iron Man, Captain America and Thor). If Robert Downey Jr. wants to stop playing Tony Stark. That's fine it's is right, but they shouldn't recast the character just give a good conclusion the the characters journey. Have him killed of saving the planet or retire with Pepper, just as long as it is good I won't mind.

    1 year agoby @john-mFlag

  18. moviegeek

    @dan1 Yepp. No one better to play Tony Stark than Tony Stark himself, I say. Downey defined the role and it should remain his whether or not he keeps doing it.

    1 year agoby @moviegeekFlag

  19. Dan

    They don't need to recast. Just evolve the team.

    1 year agoby @dan1Flag

  20. SoksoV

    Thanks Robert!! You're gonna be hard to replace seriously!

    1 year agoby @SoksoVFlag

  21. K.Guy

    I hope Avengers 2 stays in 2015

    1 year agoby @kguyFlag

  22. Rudy

    Downey Jr is the best Tony Stark ever. I bet what the studio will do when they recast is that they'll try looking for an actor that can best emulate Downey Jr. because they'll be afraid of casting a new tony stark but with a completely different personality....we'll just have to wait and see.

    1 year agoby @rudyFlag

  23. Brandon S. Todd

    Plus he, along with the other actors of the franchise, are risking being typecast especially Downey as I've seen him in interviews and featurettes and I can't distinguish between Downey and Stark...he's essentially become the character because he's been that character since 2008....that has to get old as an actor, and I know I would want to do something different so I'll understand if Downey fact I support it.

    1 year agoby @brandon-scott-toddFlag

  24. Pjwolsker

    @moviemouse well they're going to have to if he leaves. you cant not have iron man in a Avengers movie. hopefully they'll recast someone thats great at what they do

    1 year agoby @pjwolskerFlag

  25. Brandon S. Todd

    Downey brings up a very good point. How far can Marvel take this franchise until it becomes redundant? What about the other actors? They're not getting any younger. Studios, with the success of the Avengers, will try and push this franchise as far as they can until they exhaust the superhero-film genre to the point of no has to stop somewhere and Downey realizes this. For him its a job, for us its entertainment. But what's the end game? Will Marvel Studios just keep introducing more properties? I myself am a fan of comic books and comic book films, but I do feel somewhat overwhelmed at how fast Marvel Studios is moving and I know for a fact that Downey Jr. does.

    1 year agoby @brandon-scott-toddFlag

  26. Sean

    I hope he does not retire before before Phase 3 begins or ends. I hope he will be in phase 3. If he decides to no longer be in Marvel movies, then hopefully it will be after phase 3 is done or a bit later then that.

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  27. JMP

    so is this mean he will be Iron Man one more time in Avengers 2 cause we all know he will be 50 on that very year when it comes out?

    1 year agoby @jmpFlag

  28. Writer220

    At least he wants to retire from superhero films and he's having a good run at it for now. I just hope it isn't you know re*a*e

    1 year agoby @writer220Flag

  29. SherlockHolmes2009

    He can retire when he does 1 more Sherlock Holmes movie

    1 year agoby @SherlockHolmes2009Flag

  30. YouCantSeeMe

    Robert Downey Jr is great for the iron man/ Tony Stark character but they should have hired somebody younger in the first place so there would have been a longer actor as iron man.

    1 year agoby @YouCantSeeMeFlag