Robert Downey Jr. in Talks to Return for THE AVENGERS 2 and 3; No Deal Yet for IRON MAN 4

by     Posted 1 year, 83 days ago

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The folks at Marvel are no doubt celebrating the massive opening weekend for Iron Man 3—which currently stands as the second highest of all time behind The Avengers—but the studio still has a very large question mark lingering over its future.  With the release of Iron Man 3, star Robert Downey Jr. fulfilled his contract with Marvel.  He is not contractually obligated to appear in any more Marvel films, and thus has a rather sizable amount of leverage over Marvel going forward given that he is, to the moviegoing public, the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Iron Man is the most recognizable character in Marvel Studios’ roster, and the character is now synonymous with Robert Downey Jr.

As such, everyone has been wondering whether RDJ will be back and if there are any more standalone Iron Man films in the future.  The negotiations have now begun, and things are, well, a bit complicated.  Hit the jump for much more.

iron-man-4-robert-downey-jrThe folks over at Heat Vision report that Downey and his wife/producing partner Susan Downey put together a dinner on May 6th that included Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige, Disney Studios head Alan Horn, and Iron Man 3 director Shane Black.  While the dinner served as a celebration for the success of Iron Man 3, it also kicked off the renegotiation phase for Downey and Marvel.

Apparently Downey has entered negotiations to reprise his role as Tony Stark in The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3, but the prospect of Iron Man 4 has yet to be discussed.  It seemed inevitable that Downey would return for The Avengers 2, given that writer/director Joss Whedon has already been busy developing and scripting the film for a May 2015 release date, but Downey’s future with Marvel beyond that was unclear.  The 48-year-old actor appears to be keen on returning in the two ensemble films, for which he wouldn’t have the burden of carrying the entire picture, but Iron Man 4 still remains a major question mark.

The ending of Iron Man 3 very much felt like a period on the Iron Man series instead of a question mark, as the conclusion of the film wrapped up Tony’s character arc that began with the first Iron Man film in 2007.  It would be very easy for Downey to walk away from the standalone films at this point, and Kevin Feige has already said in the past that Marvel would not be averse to implementing the James Bond model of having different actors play the same character.  However, Iron Man is the most successful film franchise in Marvel’s bag and the studio would likely much rather have an Iron Man 4 starring RDJ in Phase Three than not.  As I said, Downey is Iron Man, so it will be tough to sell the franchise to audiences with a new actor in the role.

the-avengers-2-3-robert-downey-jrMarvel isn’t exactly known for being generous when it comes to contract negotiations with actors, and negotiations for all of the Marvel stalwarts—Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Mark Ruffalo—have apparently become quite heated as of late, given that they didn’t exactly receive the same hefty $50 million payday as Downey did from the $1.5 billion grossing The Avengers.  Heat Vision’s article notes that the studio isn’t averse to threatening recasting, as we’ve already seen them do with Terrence Howard’s Rhodes and Edward Norton’s Hulk, and they apparently used those tactics previously with Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Evans. 

With the sequel to one of the highest grossing films in history on the horizon and a slate of follow-ups to fan-favorite characters in the pipeline (in addition to untested originals like Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and Doctor Strange), Marvel is certainly at a turning point.  I’ll be interesting to see how things progress moving forward, but it all begins with Downey’s contract. Will he sign on for more Iron Man films or is Iron Man 3 his standalone swan song?  Time will tell.

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  • http://twitter.com/nHiAcRkT NICK НΛRT

    interesting. if marvel is only going to stick to the 4-5 movies per phase before avengers, then i wouldn’t mind seeing other new characters fill those slots instead of solo iron man films. besides, i feel like they’ve kinda milked iron man’s pool of villains

    • RiddleMeThis

      They could always make a film with iron man’s arch nemesis the mandarin.

      • http://www.facebook.com/alex.hajna Alex Hajna

        Nice.

      • http://www.facebook.com/alex.hajna Alex Hajna

        Nice.

    • NathanArizona

      agreed, there’s so many other characters, we don’t need an Iron Man 4. Avengers appearances would be enough for me.

      That said, threatening recasting of Cap and Pepper is greasy, you think Marvel can’t afford to pay them what they want? Yeah right. Of course seeing a good movie is the biggest thing, but cast continuity is very nice and the Banner/Rhodey recasts will always be a blemish on the Cinematic Universe.

  • http://twitter.com/nHiAcRkT NICK НΛRT

    interesting. if marvel is only going to stick to the 4-5 movies per phase before avengers, then i wouldn’t mind seeing other new characters fill those slots instead of solo iron man films. besides, i feel like they’ve kinda milked iron man’s pool of villains

  • Person

    Doesn’t make sense for RDJ to not do Iron Man 4 (which I’d assume takes place between Avengers 2 and 3), and then come back for Avengers 3. He either does both or neither. The James Bond idea sounds great, but remember the guy who immediately took over for Connery? Exactly.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alex.hajna Alex Hajna

      That’s not the idea. There might not BE an Iron Man 3. They may be done with Iron Man movies altogether, until they reboot everything in 20 years.

      • Person

        There was an Iron Man 3, it recently grossed the second-highest domestic opening weekend. Did you mean IM4?

      • http://www.facebook.com/alex.hajna Alex Hajna

        Yeah.

      • Anthony Andres

        That has never been the case. Kevin Feige has specifically said ( here:http://collider.com/kevin-feige-iron-man-james-bond/ ) that he would rather recast than reboot. I think there may be a pause of a few years to bring in new characters and give the new Stark actor some leeway, but we certainly won’t have to wait for a reboot.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alex.hajna Alex Hajna

      That’s not the idea. There might not BE an Iron Man 3. They may be done with Iron Man movies altogether, until they reboot everything in 20 years.

    • reasonable

      Whats wrong with Downey doing Avengers 2 and then 3 with no standalone? You can only really have so much Downey, and if Marvel is as bold as they claim to be then it works just fine. Let Doc Strange, Daredevil, and round 3 of Cap and Thor be the phase 3 lead ins. Then when the Avengers 3 comes along RDJ can come back, he isn’t leaving the universe, he’s still part of the team, he’s just not being focused on because he already got 3 stand alone films. Plus he can do cameos in the other standalone movies.

    • George Lazenby

      Do we really need an Iron Man 4 this close to the rest of them? Most people only show up to see RDJ make a funny then forget about all the rest of the heroes till Avengers. His villains kinda suck anyway which is why they are merged together or rebooted entirely.

  • sense11

    they dont need to make any more solo Iron Man movies, just make sure you lock him in for all Avengers movies

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  • Bob

    No more Iron Mans, they just get worse with each film. Get him for Avengers 2 and 3 and cameo roles in Cap 3, maybe Ant-Man, and maybe Black Panther if they do it in phase 3.

    Phase 3

    Late 2015: Ant-Man
    Early 2016: Thor 3
    Late 2016: Doctor Strange
    Early 2017: Captain America 3
    Late 2017: Black Panther
    Early 2018: The Avengers 3

  • Adrian

    There doesn’t need to be anymore standalone films. Just have RDJ come back for The Avengers 2 and 3 and then make appearances/cameos in the other standalone films. That way he’ll be present but won’t be carrying the films anymore.

  • paul holst

    They could replace RDJ tomorrow & I wouldn’t give a damn tbh, it’s all about the characters not the actors that play them.

    • Chris

      Right, that’s why the other Marvel movies were just as successful and popular as Iron Man.

    • melanarus

      I guess that’s why he got 50 MILLION for Avengers and none of the other superhero actors didn’t get paid anything near that amount.

      • Chris

        RDJ worked for scale in the first Iron Man movie. Only after it became the success it was, he was able to negotiate a lucrative deal.

  • http://twitter.com/StevenRayMorris Steven Ray Morris

    I loved Iron Man Three, but I think Marvel should focus on transitioning to new properties and leave the majors to come back for just Avengers. We know enough adventures of Tony Stark (and eventually Thor and Cap).

  • http://nevermindpopfilm.blogspot.com/ Colin Biggs

    As long as he’s back for Avengers 2 and 3, Iron Man 4 isn’t something that has to happen for a while.

  • DarkKnightFails

    Ironman 3 was the best 3rd movie in a superhero franchise ever.

    • shadypotential

      TROLOLOLOL!

    • Chris

      Iron Man 3 was the worst of the 3. Even Iron Man 2 had more interesting scenes and character development. 3 was just action, explosions and CGI. Marvel wants to develop Tony Stark into some James Bond action hero, meaning generic, stereotypical and boring. They already did this in IM3 – I honestly don’t want to see more of Tony Stark if this is the future for his character. Good choice if RDJ wants to get out.

  • shadypotential

    Get Joseph Gorden Levitt to do Iron Man

    • Chris

      Oh please!

      • shadypotential

        Yes please!

  • Joe

    The standalone RDJ Iron Man movies are done I think. The malaise in the franchise has already set in. The only way the RDJ IM movies can move forward is as part of the Avengers, with other characters to riff off. If the producers did a better job with the script for IM3, there may still have a shot for IM4.

    As it stands, its dead.

  • Joe

    The standalone RDJ Iron Man movies are done I think. The malaise in the franchise has already set in. The only way the RDJ IM movies can move forward is as part of the Avengers, with other characters to riff off. If the producers did a better job with the script for IM3, there may still have a shot for IM4.

    As it stands, its dead.

  • ThisGuy01

    If RDJ only did The Avengers sequels from now on he’s a freaking genius. He’s basically a co-lead on those movies & has only got to be on set for like 20-30% of the filming. So for what, for 2 to 3 months of work over the next 8 years he’s negotiating a large 8 digit paycheck. Disgusting that is public discussion when a large portion of the world can’t pay their rent but genius nonetheless.

  • OK

    I hear they want Leonardo DiCaprio.

  • Robby

    ok, find me another tony stark…

    erm…

    er…

    ok,,,,

  • DM725

    Iron Man 3 is plenty for now. I would like phase 3 to be without a stand alone Iron Man movie. Just bring Iron Man back for Avengers 2 and create a plausible explanation for why Tony Stark will be absent from the world until Avengers 3.

  • The Blue Elephant

    Good, he needs to redeem himself for the disaster of a movie Ironman 3 was.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719027342 Michael Horne

    So much hate for IM3. It was a great movie – plenty of character development, great action scenes, good rounded ending to the series. I don’t get the fierce opposition to it!

    • Chris

      There was as little character development as possible in Iron Man 3. All the character scenes were WAY more interesting in IM. Even in IM2 there was interesting character stuff. The dialogue in IM3 was often dumb and schtickey.
      What the hell happened with Shane Black?

  • http://www.facebook.com/prathap.kutty Prathap Kutty

    if iron man 4 does happen, they should definitely adapt the demon in a bottle storyline

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  • ash

    I think if marvel decide to get rid of iron man They should at least keep him until avenhers two and kill him off with the bad guys and thwn hulk comes and screams hulk smash you and he kills all thw bad guys and it says hulk will smash in avengers 3 I mean I havent read the comics so I cant really say too much but wouldnt that be a cool way to end it

  • Me

    One thing to note is that the tough negotiations was before Disney bought Marvel. They got Disney movie now, so they have no excuse to not pay the actors

  • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/‎ tarek

    Iron man without R.Downey Jr is not Iron Man. He is simply the personification of Tony stark. funny, arrogant, lovable, fragile.

    that being said, IM3 was way better than IM2, but isn’t that amazing experience we had experienced with IM1. the story was so so.

  • Phil

    Iron Man 3 was miserable. I don’t even give a shit anymore. I hope he doesn’t come back at all.

  • Snacks

    I was skeptical about RDJ as the choice to be Iron Man / Tony Stark. And in the end he was perfect, though not at all how I envisioned the character from the comics. So if he is replaced, maybe a new direction with a new actor would work great too. Though…. hopefully he hangs around a little longer. In the end it will be important to find the right villains and have good battles because his motormouth shtick can only carry so much. Actually not a fan of his motormouth shtick outside of Iron Man character; only works there.

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  • Convoy

    RDJ is Tony Stark. You know what though. Sean Connery was James Bond. In the 70′s and early 80′s, Roger Moore was James Bond. Love him or hate him, he did make the role his. Even Timothy Dalton was his own James Bond and his two movies fit the time very well. The same with Brosnan and now Craig. So it is not impossible to find another actor to play Tony Stark. I think the Iron Man movies should take a break. Focus on Captain America, Thor and whatever else comes down the line. Let RDJ reprise his role for Avengers 2 & 3, and during that time find a sutiable actor to fill the role, and who can make it theirs, for Iron Man 4.

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  • peter

    You do realize what purpose these serve in the movie, right? The deployable armor sends out a laser scan and locks into the targets on these bracelets. That is how it is able to home in on Tony and conform to him as he is falling through the air. The real brilliance of them is how in the hell was Tony Stark able to foresee that someone would throw him out of a window and he would need to armor up in mid air? visit this : http://gossipscentral.com/

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