Robert Downey Jr. is about to have another hit on his hands when Iron Man 3 opens in a couple weeks. Iron Man is the franchise that took him back from the brink to the point where his past failures—the flops, the drug addiction, the prison time—become somewhat forgettable. He’s now one of the biggest stars in the world, and has the freedom to choose projects. However, he knows that at age 48, genre movies are becoming a little too much. He learned that lesson the hard way when he injured his ankle while doing a stunt on Iron Man 3.
In a new profile for GQ, Downey talks about how that’s leading him to possibly put away the armor in the near future. He also mentions some projects beyond the Marvel Universe. Hit the jump for more.
Speaking to GQ, Downey says that the injury was a bit of a wakeup call to return to more personal projects:
“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 that—it’s what me and the missus are doing next. It’s not unlike: I heard 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.”
[Note Downey turned 48 earlier this month, so the interview was clearly done before his birthday] This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Downey being replaced as Iron Man, and The Avengers 2 seems a good a time as any for a last hurrah. The GQ article also mentions that he made about $50 million off The Avengers, so Marvel probably wouldn’t mind a younger, more affordable actor.
As for what the future holds, Downey is content to pursue non-genre fare. This summer, he’ll be working on the drama The Judge with Robert Duvall, which centers on an attorney who returns home for his mother’s funeral where he learns that his estranged father, a judge who suffers from Alzheimer’s, is suspected of murder. He also tells GQ that he’d like to direct, and has an idea stirring for a Halloween picture:
“Nobody,” he says, “has cornered Halloween as a market since Halloween.” He would act in it, too. “I will say only this: I am a Village Voice reporter on the run.”
It’s a project that sounds like it’s in the nascent stages, but I’ll be curious to see if Downey continues to develop it, or if he’ll be drawn to other work in the coming years.