We're in the final run-up to [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409), and naturally the cast and crew are doing countless interviews. ABC's Nightline got a particularly interesting one tonight:
Here's the key quote; when asked about the possibility of another Iron Man movie, Robert Downey Jr. replied:
"I feel like I could do one more."
Is He Likely To Get The Chance?
RDJ's been a source of real controversy for #Marvel Studios (for more on the flawed-yet-worthy superhero, check out 5 Life Lessons Marvel Taught Us Through Iron Man). Simply put, he's expensive. According to Variety, he's earning $40 million from Captain America: Civil War plus backend participation — and he's also getting an additional payout if the film outperforms Captain America: The Winter Soldier! What's more, it's an open secret that he refused to sign up to Avengers: Age of Ultron unless his fellow cast members got a better deal.
This has ruffled feathers over at Marvel. In fact, Marvel's reclusive CEO Isaac Perlmutter, who has a reputation for penny-pinching, actually attempted to get RDJ cut from Captain America: Civil War! Fortunately for Downey — and for our chances of getting Iron Man 4 — this ultimately led to a great deal of conflict between Perlmutter and Kevin Feige, Marvel's visionary. Disney was forced to intervene and Marvel Studios was removed from Perlmutter's sphere of influence. Feige seems more than willing to ink a deal with Downey, who he's recently signed up for Spider-Man: Homecoming.
And why not do a deal with him? The reality is, the #IronMan franchise is Marvel's biggest, grossing a phenomenal $1.04 billion at the box office. Sure, it's likely to be overtaken by Spider-Man in Phase Four, but a fourth Iron Man film can hardly hurt. From a purely financial perspective, it makes sense.
We'll likely have to wait, though. Marvel's Phase Three has already been in a great deal of flux, with Inhumans moved out of Phase Three altogether, and Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ant-Man and the Wasp added to the slate. If Marvel is willing to make Iron Man 4, this film will probably be in Phase Four.
So What Could A Fourth Iron Man Film Be About?
“I think there will be a finality to moments of Phase Three, as well as new beginnings that will mark a different, a very different, a distinctively different chapter in what will someday be a complete first saga made up of three phases.”
The Russo brothers are repeatedly explaining that there's a through line from Captain America: Civil War to Avengers: Infinity War, and it's likely that a change in Tony Stark's status quo is at the heart of this. So by the time any fourth Iron Man film comes around, Tony Stark will be in a very different place.
Another question is: Just who could be the fourth Iron Man villain? Marvel hasn't exactly built up a good reputation for its handling of villains, but the All Hail the King short hinted that there's one villain it could be keen on revisiting. If we're getting an Iron Man 4, I'd seriously be hoping we saw a better attempt at the Mandarin.
Ultimately, while Downey's up for it and it makes financial sense, the stars still have to be in alignment for this one to happen. Only time will tell.