I will be addressing my thoughts in this article, they are strictly my personal ones and shouldn't be taken as 100% certified facts. ***SPOILERS*** THROUGHOUT THE ARTICLE SO READ AT OWN RISK.
1. Iron Man/Tony Stark/Robert Downey Jr.
My first thought are on the future of our most beloved character in the MCU, Iron Man/Tony Stark who is played by RDJ. I believe we have yet to see more of RDJ than we think. First lets do a headcount of what RDJ has done:
- Iron Man
- The Incredible Hulk
- Iron Man 2
- Iron Man 3
- Avengers: Age Of Ultron
This makes the tally a whopping 6 already, which from my reckoning is the most films or appearances any film star has made for any franchise! Now that we've counted the past ones lets do quick summary of the forthcoming future films RDJ will or may appear in.
1. Captain America: Civil War - 2016 (Chances 100%)
This film touted to be an Avengers 2.5, which speaks for it self. With nearly all of the Avengers set to appear barring one or two (Hulk and Thor), this film is going to be huge with the star cast and number of superheroes likely to exceed even AOU (Age Of Ultron) were going to be in for a super sized experience. Add in SPIDERMAN, Russo Brothers, Iron Man vs Cap and the possibility of an appearance by Matt Murdock as Daredevil it looks like it will be an unstoppable force, and in my reckoning will beat AOU which will most certainly beat Avengers at the global box office.
Another factor in the importance of this movie is that this may well possibly be the movie from which the character of Tony Stark is more important to the MCU, As RDJ had said before he is ageing (NOT AT ALL), he is 50 now and its not easy being Iron Man. I think this will start the Age Of Tony Stark in the MCU, where the Iron Man suit is not used much or at all, of course I don't want this but if this means more RDJ then god take away everything from Tony Stark, even his beard but keep RDJ. This may be okay because after Cap: Civil War starts the boom of new superheroes who will do the "avenging" for the earth and galaxy (see what I did there) and this will allow Tony Stark to semi retire as he sort of does in AOU, which is really means he's going to come back with more toys next time around, remember the Iron Man 3 ending which seems like the end of Iron Man, but come AOU its like that didn't even happen! I think thats going to be the same for Cap: CW, as we know now Stark and Banner have lots of secrets in between them.
2. Doctor Strange - 2016 (Chances 20%)
RDJ appearing in Doctor Strange (DS) seems very unlikely but you never know, we could see a repeat of Hulk back in 2008. Although some other Avengers are more likely to appear Tony has a chance or recruiting Dr Strange early in for his Avengers team which is certain as Cap does assemble his own team at the end of AOU (Cap, Black Widow, Vision, Falcon, Scarlet Witch and War Machine. Or we could see the beginning of the ILLUMINATI.
3. Guardians of The Galaxy 2 - 2017 (Chances 45%)
If there was movie I want RDJ appearing in, its this. Just think about it Iron Man, Star 'freaking' Lord and Rocket in one movie, would be a dream come true. And chances of this happening are supported by Iron Man endeavours in the comics and seem logical but chances are Marvel will keep this crossover till the Infinity Wars. Although due to the ending of AOU I won't be surprised if Hulk/Bruce Banner ends up in GOTG 2, I mean the Quinjet must have space and galaxy travel as one of its features.
4. Spiderman - 2017 (Chances 80%)
I really think this is going to be RDJ second most pivotal appearance in another characters movie. Iron Man and Spidey have lots of history in comics and looking at the rumours this seems very likely. We will most likely get a movie where Tony Stark is more involved either as a person training Spidey on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D. or by his own just for further Avengers Development. Although what confused me is that how this would happen after Civil War has taken place, story wise Spidey is suppose to change sides from Iron Man to Cap and I didn't understand how everything would be resolved after the betrayal, but the more I thought of it, I cam to the conclusion that as Cap will probably be sent back in time based on rumours, the Avengers will take a toll and will unite once again with Tony as the leader or in the central seat and this will mean he will take responsibility of getting the new heroes up to scratch.
5. Thor: Ragnarok - 2017 (Chances 5%)
I really don't think this will ever happen, even if it does it will be Tony/Iron Man in a vision maybe.
6. Avengers: Infinity Wars Part 1 - 2018 (Chances 100%)
Its the 3rd Avengers movie so of course RDJ will be there. Since according to me he will be leading the Avengers in the absence of Cap, he will have the most screen time. I think Part 1 will be more of an introduction to all the characters uniting for the fight in Part 2 so I see RDJ appearing more as Tony Stark rather than Iron Man. I think the end credits or the ending of this movie will see Doctor Strange help get Cap back into present for Part 2.
7. Black Panther - 2018 (Chances 60%)
The reason I think RDJ may appear in this movie is because I think it will be a prequel to the events of either Civil War or Infinity Wars Part 1 which means Tony may appear as a character involved with Ulysses Klaw who gets his hand cut off by Ultron in AOU to make way for his weapon/hand. Or something to do with vibranium and maybe either Tony or Howard Stark appearing there to get some.
8. Captain Marvel - 2018 (Chances 20%)
Highly unlikely but never say never with Tony, he has connections with a lot of people and the Air Force doesn't seem unlikely. Since it was suppose to be before Infinity War Part 1, I won't be too surprised if they have already met before.
9. Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 - 2019 (Chances 100%)
Unless Tony/Iron Man dies in Part 1 theres no reason why Iron Man won't be leading the fight against the Mad Titan. I expect him, Cap and Thor who won't be dead after Thor: Ragnarok who returns for Part 2 to lead every hero assembled, from Spiderman, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Ant Man, Doctor Strange, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Quick Silver ( Yes you read that right), Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Winter Soldier, Falcon, Vision, War Machine, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Daisy Jones, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Inhumans, The Inhumans and every other hero who comes along to war. There maybe a 50% chance of Tony dying at the end but don't think that will happen due to RDJ's popularity, actually I don't expect any major character to die at all unless some of the original Avengers want to hang the cape so they will either die a hero or retire.
10. Inhumans - 2018 (Chances 10%)
I don't think RDJ will be appearing here, it will most likely be set before the events of Infinity Wars and not on earth so no reason for Tony to appear, but again never say never with Marvel.
Phase 4 - The Big Three
RDJ being in Phase 4 is my only dream right now, It would be the best but then thinking about it, I doubt he will return for more Iron Man adventures. He may take up a Nick Fury type role who will live through everything and have Stan Lee like cameos, so we may se Tony Stark as the retired superhero who maybe handles or manages the Avengers who are so big in numbers that theres no need for Iron Man. This would be nice and great for RDJ as he can keep on making small appearances as the charming Tony Stark and do other films outside the superhero genre. And just to be clear we never know if RDJ may keep the Iron Man suit for one more phase and keep us happy one more time, that guy doesn't seem to age. And guys we may have RDJ for at least one movie until the end of Phase 3. I didn't mention Ant-Man because its all but certain RDJ won't be appearing there. Plus I want to see more Sherlock Holmes films.
Chris Evans has said he doesn't mind sticking around as long as Marvel wants him and that means theres a big chance we may see Steve Rogers take up the mantle of Captain America for one more phase and this is very likely as the break Chris will get in between Civil War and Infinity War Part 2 is going to be great for the other side of his passion, directing. Hell we may even see him direct a Phase 4 movie. And if he doesn't want to the Cap show for one more Phase he could also go the Nick Fury and Tony Stark way.
Thor may or may not be in the mix, Chris Hemsworth has revealed that he only has 3 films left in his contract (Thor 3, Avengers 3 Part 1 & 2). And unless Marvel and Chris renew the contract I doubt he will be there but to me if he were in the mix, he would be the on of the central characters in Phase 4.
2. Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver
In AOU Quicksilver dies. His death unlike Phil Coulson's in the first Avengers doesn't affect anyone but his sister, Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. I was expecting a serious after math scene in which the Avengers either bury or have a memorial of Pietro, it could be included in the extended version which will release on DVD but until then this is what I think. My theory is we haven't seen the last of Quicksilver, Aaron Taylor Johnson, the guy who plays him doesn't make it seem like this is his only appearance in the MCU and seems invested in his character. I think like Phil Coulson, Pietro will be bought back to life using the TAHITI project, which is still pretty much there to use as mentioned in season 2 episode 18 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. if you don't watch it. This will be due to Clint Barton/Hawkeye who while saving Quicksilver got shot, and since Hawkeye is integral part of S.H.I.E.L.D. I believe he knows of Phil Coulson's revival and will get Pietro to come back and help him do some 'avenging'. Think about it, one appearance can't be all Marvel has for us of Quicksilver and the depths he has in ability and character, theres always something that 'more than meets the eye' for Marvel and its universe.
3. Black Widow Solo Movie
I think the best way to get a solo Black Widow/ Natasha Romanoff movie is if its a team up movie with another character or two. I think the best two options are either Hulk/Bruce Banner or Clint Barton/Hawkeye. I would personally want to see a Black Widow and Hawkeye team up movie as it would allow characters from AOS (TV) to appear, it could be a prequel where agents like Mockingjay and Hunter have teamed up with the two yet to be Avengers. Just a imagine a Action/Triller movie about the two in Budapest doing thrilling spy work, anyone remember that part in the First Avengers?