If you take the three Iron Man films we've been gifted with thus far from Marvel and place them apart from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universethey sit quite well as a standalone trilogy. Tony Stark's character arc tied quite neatly in a bow at the conclusion of Iron Man 3.
But this is the MCU after all, and there's no rest for the wicked (especially if you're Tony Stark). While Iron Man's solo narrative has seemingly been wrapped up now post-The Avengers to make way for the slew of new characters being introduced to the MCU over the course of Phase 3, his story was carried on by [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035)— the events of which contribute to the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, in which Iron Man/Tony Stark will also feature heavily.
Civil War will be Robert Downey Jr.'s seventh appearance in a Marvel movie and marks the showdown that for some is even more anticipated than Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. We speak of course of the ideological division caused by the titular civil war, turning teammates against each other and Iron Man against his buddy Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans).
It's been three years since Iron Man last headlined a solo film and the question of whether or not we'd be getting an Iron Man 4 has circulated ever since. Downey Jr. is often seen as the perfect embodiment of the Avenger he plays in the MCU, and his status as a fan favorite in terms of both actor and character has meant that Iron Man 4 chatter has persisted, even as Phase 3 rolls onward.
USA Today visited the set of Civil War when filming in Atlanta and caught up with the man behind the metal suit himself, asking him the question that has been burning on the lips of many a Marvel fan since 2013: Will we ever see Iron Man 4? Here's what he had to say on that subject:
"I don’t think ['Iron Man 4'] is in the cards."
Say it ain't so! But don't worry, it's not all bad news.
The title and teasers we've seen thus far have cemented Civil War as a Captain America movie, rather than an Iron Man or Avengers outing. Also, it deals heavily with fallout from the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the issues rippling outward from the return of Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
But despite this, Downey Jr. still considers Civil War to be his Iron Man 4:
"In a way ['Civil War' is 'Captain America 3'] but for me it's like my little 'Iron Man 4' and then it's back to the thing we all recognize. Everything pulls over to the side of the road when the thunder of an Avengers thing comes through because that’s how it is until it changes. If it changes."
Also very interestingly, Downey Jr. let slip a little detail about Iron Man's characterization in Civil War, claiming that his much loved Tony Stark won't go down the "total villain" route that some fans had been expecting.
Nope, if Stark ever goes truly off the deep end, he says they'd save that particular plot point for his "swan song" — meaning his final outing in the MCU.
While we could read this as hinting that the end point is planned for Iron Man, the open-ended nature of his remark suggests that Downey Jr. isn't going to be done playing the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist anytime soon. We've still got the Avengers: Infinity War two-parter to look forward to, after all.
So there you go. We might not be getting that Iron Man 4 extravaganza we wanted, but Captain America: Civil War should give us plenty to sink our teeth into when it releases a month and a half from now. Time to pick a side.