Back in the mid-2000s, Marvel took a gamble when they cast Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark — luckily, it paid off in a big way. RDJ is now one of Hollywood's most popular stars, and he's become Marvel's highest-paid and highest-grossing actor.
So where can we expect to see Robert Downey Jr. next? Here's your guide to every Robert Downey Jnr. movie in the works.
1. Spider-Man Homecoming
Release Date: July 5th, 2017
Marvel knows the value of Robert Downey Jr. better than anyone, and they've signed him up for a major role in #SpiderManHomecoming. Tom Holland's latest iteration of the web-slinger was introduced back in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, and Holland got the role in part because of the strength of his dynamic with Downey. The trailers for Homecoming have suggested a strong, developing relationship between Downey's Tony Stark and Holland's Peter Parker, with Stark becoming something of a flawed father figure.
Although this decision is sure to be popular at the box office, it's also been more than a little controversial. Some fans have taken to referring to Homecoming as "Iron Man 4," complaining that Downey seems to share the top billing with Spider-Man himself. The reality is, though, that Marvel's move makes perfect sense; Homecoming is the first solo Spider-Man film in the MCU, and they want to ensure it's firmly embedded in their successful cinematic universe.
2. Avengers: Infinity War
Release Date: April 25th, 2018
When Marvel launched the MCU back in 2008, nobody could have expected the sheer scale of their success; the franchise has now grossed over $11 billion at the box office. Next year's #InfinityWar is intended to be the crowning glory of the franchise to date, the culmination of everything Marvel has done in the last decade. Unsurprisingly, Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark is set to play a central role in the film — he's had a powerful arc leading up to it, and has been the linchpin of the MCU to date.
3. The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle
Release Date: May 24th, 2019
No, you haven't misread; Universal has picked up the latest #DoctorDolittle movie, and they've signed up none other than Robert Downey Jr. as their star! The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle is reportedly in pre-production, but we don't know much; the title is evocative of the 1922 award-winning novel, The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, in which the character heads off on a voyage to Spidermonkey Island.
4. Sherlock Holmes 3
Release Date: TBA
Robert Downey Jr. isn't just famous for playing the part of Tony Stark, of course. In 2009, he starred in Guy Ritchie's #SherlockHolmes, and reprised the role in a 2012 sequel, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. A third film has been announced, reuniting Downey's Holmes with with Jude Law's Watson.
5. An Untitled John Brinkley Movie
Release Date: TBA
In a move away from the fantastical, Downey has taken on the lead role in the as-yet-untitled John Brinkley biopic. For those who haven't heard of Brinkley, he was your classic snake oil salesman — except he claimed to have found the cure for impotency. His solution? Goat testicle implants. Yeah, you read that right.
With an idea as outlandish as that, Brinkley was sure to garner some attention, and as the years passed he became something of a national celebrity. He used his fame to become a radio presenter, where he happily pushed the agendas he cared about, including his fondness for the growing power of the Nazi regime in Germany. In a twist that you really couldn't make up, Brinkley even took a shot at political power, liking the sound of becoming a state governor.
The role is something of a departure for Downey, whose heroes are usually a tad more heroic and beloved. Still, political commentators have noted that the time seems right for a movie based on John Brinkley; a wealthy, famous media star who's running for political power? Stop me if you've heard this story before...
As you can see, Iron Man may have revitalized Robert Downey Jr.'s career, but there's a lot more to him than just another Marvel superhero. For me, the most exciting of these films is undoubtedly the John Brinkley biopic, as it will see Downey push his own boundaries, and star in a movie with a very different style and tone.
I'll be keeping this page up-to-date with the latest news as we hear more of Robert Downey Jr.'s career. Whatever his next steps may be, they're sure to catch the world's eye.
Which one of Robert Downey Jr.'s upcoming movies are you most excited about?
(Poll Image Credit: Marvel Studios)