In news that surprised no one, Robert Downey Jr. confirmed Iron Man 4 was in development while appearing on Ellen Degeneres’ TV show. Then the surprising part hit: just one day later, the lead actor now denies Iron Man 4 is in the works.
Downey Jr. has been making the TV circuit to promote The Judge. His revelation that Iron Man 4 was in the works hit during Ellen’s afternoon show, but when he appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman his story changed completely.
Presumably the Iron Man actor got some harsh pushback from Disney, which owns Marvel. Talking to Letterman, Downey Jr. said “there’s no plans for an Iron Man 4. There’s no script for Iron Man 4. But they have a plan and I think they’re gonna announce it. You know, [Marvel’s] very secretive about it.”
Yes they are. Which is why having a lead actor going public and spoiling any semblance of communications strategy is bound to set off some PR alarms.
Is Iron Man 4 going to happen? Probably. The films have made too much money to back away now. Will Robert Downey Jr. reprise his role as Tony Stark? Most likely, although Downey remained coy on that front.
“I’m gonna do other stuff with Marvel,” he told Letterman. “I’m still going to be involved with Marvel, and there’s gonna be plenty of fun stuff to happen.”
In other words, he may be working on non-Iron-Man projects with Marvel in addition to the fourth Iron Man entry, perhaps including an unannounced Avengers film. He’s already slated to play Iron Man in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but could there be another?
If so, he could reprise his role as Tony Stark in such a film, but it wouldn’t technically be in a stand-alone Iron Man 4. Another option is that he’s working on a deal to appear on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which he’s previously expressed interest in.
He’s so clever.