For a while it had seemed doubtful that Robert Downey Jr. would don Tony Stark’s “high-tech prosthesis” after the completion of Avengers 3, and he has made it clear that he knows Iron Man will go on long after he retires to the private island he will likely buy with the piles of money he made playing the character.

So what’s changed? Well, mostly it seems to be the fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has established that a certain character who was used as a cover for a certain Aldrich Killian is most CERTAINLY real. I refer, of course, to The Mandarin. The REAL Mandarin, not the masquerade performed by Trevor Slattery. Apparently, ever since Marvel’s short film All Hail The King hinted at the possibility of The Mandarin’s existence, there has been serious interest in a fourth installment in the Iron Man franchise.

The only real question has been whether or not RDJ will reprise the title role. And it seems THAT depends upon the depth of Disney’s pockets. More after the ever-popular jump:

Downey spoke with Entertainment Weekly on the set of Avengers: Age of Ultron about the possibility of coming back for IM4:

It’s down to Kevin [Feige, Marvel Studios president] and Ike [Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel Entertainment] and Disney to come to us with what the proposal is, and that’s on us to agree or disagree…When things are going great, there’s a lot of agreement.

TRANSLATION: “I made an ass-ton of money for these guys, if they want me back, they better pay me an ass-ton and a HALF…”

And as painful as it may be for Marvel/Disney, they may find themselves pulling out their checkbook and letting RDJ write his own figure. The man is the highest earning actor in the world, according to Forbes–and he made his overlords north of one billion dollars with Iron Man 3, making it the 5th highest grossing film in history.

I have a feeling Kevin and Ike and Disney will be offering Mr. Downey anything short of virgin human sacrifices to keep him happily making their companies indecently wealthy.

As for where RDJ is professionally, all indications say he’s having a blast making Age of Ultron, and he feels he’s at the top of his game where playing Iron Man is concerned–regardless of the fact that the actor will be 53 by the time Avengers 3 is in theatres:

It’s that thing of: Why give up the belt when it feels like you can barely get jabbed?

Most people are saying that right when they get knocked out.

Okay…Me, I’m calling that “cautious optimism”, and taking it as a plus.

SO–there will PROBABLY be an Iron Man 4 at some point, and Marvel/Disney will PROBABLY hire RDJ to star in it–even though they may have to sell their children into slavery to pay his wage….

It’s even been suggested that IM4 will be one of the films Marvel will officially announced during their SDCC 2014 panel this Saturday–but don’t quote us on that….

Quote these folks: Screen Rant


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