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."
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.