Marvel Studios announced in 2013 that Iron Man franchise star Robert Downey Jr. had extended his contract with the studio to play Tony Stark in two more films: the upcoming superhero team-up Avengers: Age Of Ultron and its sequel, which is expected to hit theaters in 2018. Conspicuously absent from that deal is any future Iron Man solo film — an omission that Downey confirmed in a recent interview.
During the press tour for his upcoming film The Judge, Downey told Variety that a fourth Iron Man movie isn’t being discussed at this point.
“There isn’t one in the pipe,” he said. “No, there’s no plan for a fourth Iron Man.”
Given that 2013’s Iron Man 3 currently stands at #2 on the list of highest-grossing films in Marvel’s cinematic universe, it would be surprising to see the franchise end — which is why the possibility of another actor donning Iron Man’s armor may be a very real option being considered by the studio.
“I like that the idea is that it would be up to me, like I’m casting director for Marvel,” laughed Downey when asked by the outlet if he’d “let” another actor play Tony Stark.
Nevertheless, fans will be able to see Downey as Iron Man next year in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which hits theaters May 1, 2015.