"Now, in an interview with GQ, speaking about the injury he sustained on the Iron Man 3 set, Downey suggests he’s starting to wonder how many installments in the series he’ll headline – before the ride is no longer fun.
After GQ posted their interview, the Internet responded with fans and insiders speculating that Downey may not have simply been waxing poetic – that he was actually hinting at walking away from Tony Stark after The Avengers 2.
First off, it’s important to note that the quote was framed by Downey talking about his injury – which led the actor to consider the strain of blockbuster movies and his aging body. Future Marvel productions could easily take precautions (more stunt doubles, CGI models, etc) to ensure that similar injuries don’t occur – whether the actor signs-on for two or twenty-two more Marvel films […]
After all, only one month ago at the Iron Man 3 press day, Downey told us that he would likely be back for The Avengers 2 (even though his four picture deal concludes with Iron Man 3) because he likes being a “company man.” The actor further added that there are still elements of the character that he wants to explore. […]
Downey could easily get excited about returning to Tony Stark for future installments – assuming they were a bit more spread out than the pre-Avengers movie slate. In fact, a year ago, Downey stated that as long as Marvel was cognizant of the series’ quality, he’d be interested in showing up for Iron Man adventures. […]
Ultimately, Downey’s interest in non-Marvel projects may be a non-issue – allowing the actor to jump back into Iron Man armor at key moments (i.e. an inspired solo story or an Avengers team-up). The right amount of money will be a factor in any future Marvel movie appearance but with other actors taking key roles in the Marvel universe, Downey will have less responsibility on his shoulders. Should the actor be given more time for “artistic” personal projects, it’s easy to imagine that Disney will be able to work with Downey on acceptable compensation.
After all, while Marvel is notorious for low-balling potential cast members, Disney is known for rolling out dump trucks full of money for key stars - such as Johnny Depp who gets well-over $50 million for each Pirates of the Caribbean installment. Money will definitely be a factor but it’s probably less of a deal-breaker than Downey’s interest in diversifying his schedule.
As a result, will we see less of Downey in Phase Three of the Marvel cinematic universe? Probably. Is he going to be entirely done with the series after The Avengers 2? Not likely.”
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