I know, I know. Iron Man 4 still doesn't officially exist, but those persistent rumors are still circulating about what could happen in the fourth Iron Man installment.
Entertainment Weekly think there could be some [Iron Man 4](movie:886190) details hidden in the final minutes of the recently released [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973). So, if you've still yet to see the new Captain America movie and want to remain spoiler-free, I suggest you stop reading this article pretty darn soon. Like now.
OK. Now they're gone, we can talk about this Iron Man 4 theory. The end of The Winter Soldier saw S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) applying for a job at Stark Industries. Now, this could simply mean that she's due to appear in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035), however EW think there could be more to it. They stated:
Placing Hill close to Tony Stark could mean that Cobie Smulders will have a significant role in Avengers: Age of Ultron- although that film is already so overstuffed that it's equally likely the Marvel producers are putting her in place for Iron Man 4.
And what about the quite understandable suggestion that this is nothing but aimless speculation considering there isn't even an Iron Man 4 movie? Well, EW has an answer for that too. They continue:
(No, Iron Man 4 hasn't been officially announced; yes, Iron Man 3 made over a billion dollars; no, that's not the kind of money you walk away from, even if you have to pay for Robert Downey's seventh private island).
Currently, the internet seems to have concluded the only way the Iron Man franchise can continue is with a recasting of the titular hero. This probably won't sit well with die-hard Robert Downey Jr fans, but even the star himself has suggested a recasting is inevitable. He told the Boston Herald:
The smart money is you have to look at everybody's age. I'll put myself at the top of the list. Sooner or later, they've got to start over and get somebody young.
Of course, Downey Jr is still on to play Tony Stark in two more Avengers movies, and I would imagine we will not be seeing a new Iron Man movie until this first trilogy of Avengers outings are in the bag. With this in mind, I doubt the final scenes of The Winter Soldier really are setting up an Iron Man 4 - unless Marvel are playing the long game with Maria Hill.
What do you think? Will be see Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 4, or is a recasting inevitable? Let us know your opinion below.