The actor was speaking about his injury on the set of Iron Man 3 when he mentioned that it might be time to retire Tony Stark in his own movies. If he made this decision, it seems clear that he would continue to reprise the role as Tony Stark/Iron Man for cameos in other Marvel films and appearances in The Avengers sequels.
Here’s what the actor had to say:
It (the injury) got me thinking about how big the message from your cosmic sponsor needs to be before you pick it up. How many genre movies can I do? How many follow-ups to a successful follow-up are actually fun? I come from a family of very innovative writers and directors and actors and artists, and the circle of friends they were in were the people I heard having pun-offs playing poker at two in the morning, and it was just the most comforting aspect of my childhood. So there’s this kind of legacy of souls from what I consider to be a very particular time in entertainment, and I’m sensing a return to that.
Iron Man has had two hugely successful runs, with a third on its way in May. After being paid $50 million to appear in The Avengers (a figure the actor confirmed himself), we’re sure he’s financially stable enough to take and decline whatever projects he choices without worry going forward. Because he comes from a family of movie industry individuals who pick films more for the art than the publicity, it doesn’t shock us that Robert Downey Jr. is ready to transition back to smaller, one-off films.
It’s also important to note that the actor’s contract with Marvel and Disney expires after Iron Man 3. Still, he’s hinted at being interested in reprising the role to explore new aspects of his character during the Iron Man 3 press tour, so it’s safe to say Iron Man 3 won’t be the last time we see the actor as Iron Man.
Still, we can’t help but be sad by the news that the quirkiest and most hilarious member of The Avengers might be ready to call it quits.
Keep in mind, this is pure speculation at this point, and it’s clear that he hasn’t made up his own mind yet. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any decision he makes!
Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr.’s latest film starring as Iron Man, hits theaters on May 3rd.