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Robert Downey Jr. goes back and forth on Iron Man 4, but hints at more Tony Stark

While making the press rounds for his new film The Judge, Robert Downey Jr. has been fielding a lot of questions about the future of the Iron Man franchise — specifically, whether he’ll return as genius billionaire playboy philanthropist (and superhero) Tony Stark in Iron Man 4. Apparently, a lot can change in a few hours, as the online world was buzzing when Downey seemed to confirm Iron Man 4 during a morning show appearance, only to make it clear that no such film was in the works during a late-night show interview.

During an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Downey was asked whether he’ll return for Iron Man 4. After offering a somewhat vague but encouraging response, Degeneres asked him, “So, yes?” “Okay, yes,” Downey responded, leading many outlets to report that the franchise star had confirmed a fourth installment of the blockbuster Marvel Studios franchise.

A few hours later, however, Downey appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman and was asked a similar question about the possibility of returning for Iron Man 4.

“There’s no plans for an Iron Man 4,” he said, seeming to debunk his own confirmation from earlier in the day. “There’s no script for Iron Man 4, but they do have a plan and I think they’re gonna announce it. You know, [Marvel’s] very secretive about it.”

Letterman didn’t let the subject rest, though, and pestered Downey later in the interview about his future with Marvel Studios. Asked specifically whether he’s going to do Iron Man 4, Downey told Letterman, “No, but I’m going to do other stuff with Marvel. I’m still going to be involved with Marvel and there’s going to be plenty of fun stuff to happen.”

So, what does it all mean? While it seems like the solo Iron Man franchise may have reached its conclusion with Iron Man 3, it certainly seems like the upcoming Avengers: Age Of Ultron and the third Avengers film he’s contracted to play Tony Stark in won’t be the only times we’ll see him reprise the iconic role.