When Robert Downey Jr. speaks, I tend to pay a whole lot of attention, because...well, because RDJ. That's actually enough of a reason all by itself.
When he starts talking about Marvel movies though, I don't just pay attention - I'm fully, and ridiculously, engrossed.
And when he starts talking about how many times he'll play Iron Man?
Well, just listen for the thud as I stop paying attention to anything else and accidentally walk into a passing plank of plywood.
Even knowing that, though - and with full awareness of the potential head trauma involved - the latest news from RDJ could hardly be more exciting if it tried.
Coming off the back of THAT Marvel movie slate announcement, Robert Downey Jr. was asked at a recent BAFTA event in L.A. about how many times he'll likely play Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man.
And his answer might just be the best thing you've heard in...well, days - I mean, c'mon...Captain Marvel solo movie announcement - but still...
“You know, it may verge on double digits...But it will probably wind up being a little shy.”
Or, in other words...
RDJ is set to play Iron Man at least nine times.
And...now I have to go away and start counting. One second...
So... Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3. Easy. The Avengers, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron, sure. So that's five. I'm going to assume he's not counting his uncredited cameo in The Incredible Hulk, in much the same way Chris Evans' appearance in Thor: The Dark World doesn't count towards his contracted Marvel movie total.
Then, add in his already confirmed appearances in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2 in 2018 and 2019, and we're left with...8.
RDJ has only made (or confirmed) 8 Marvel movies
And, according to RDJ, he's going to make 9.
Now, though, the question is...
What will that that ninth movie be?
Well, here are a few possibilities...
A Conventional Iron Man 4, After Avengers 3
Now, it might seem a little unlikely, seeing as Robert Downey Jr. looks set to spend a whole lot of the next five years making and promoting the three Marvel movies he's already confirmed to appear in, but it's certainly possible that after Avengers: Infinity War Pt. 2, we'll finally get to see the Iron Man 4 we've all been hoping for.
Just not till 2020 at the earliest.
Stark in Space, in Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Alternatively, we could see Iron Man head off to space to hang out with the Guardians of the Galaxy (maybe even with his old buddy Bruce Banner along for the ride) in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
Sure, it sounds pretty out there, but in the comics? That totally happened a couple of years back...
An Iron Man-Backed Captain Marvel
It's also possible, however, that Tony Stark (possibly even without the Iron Man armor) could be used to lend some extra star power to one of Marvel's upcoming solo pictures. After all, the introduction of a brand new character is always risky, and a little RDJ razzmatazz is usually pretty much just a license for Marvel to print money.
Now, Doctor Strange probably doesn't need a cocky tech genius overshadowing his magical mojo, something tells me Black Panther is going to be a whole lot more Cap-aligned in the upcoming Civil War, and Inhumans could honestly be more-or-less-anything at this point - so my bet? Captain Marvel - whose relationship with Stark in the comics has long been a central feature of her character.
An Extra Civil War Movie
My personal favorite, though?
An extra, bonus, surprise Civil War movie.
I've talked about the idea at length - and about just why it could actually happen - right here, but RDJ's recent calculation of his own likely appearances only makes it more likely to happen.
And, by "it," I mean an extension to Marvel's Civil War storyline, filling in their currently, and mysteriously, empty release slot in July, 2016 - just a few months after Captain America: Civil War.
Now, there's just one big, [Marvel](channel:932254)-shaped question remaining...What do you guys think?
What movie do you think we'll see RDJ appear in as his ninth Iron Man appearance?