Iron Man 3 is generating some serious buzz ahead of its U.S. debut next week, but could this third installment in the popular series be the end of the line for stand-alone adventures featuring ol’ Shellhead? According to Gwyneth Paltrow, the answer is yes.
Kevin McCarthy’s Nerd Tears website recently caught up with Robert Downey Jr. and Paltrow, and the discussion covers a range of topics. When McCarthy gets around to asking Paltrow about doing her own Pepper Potts superhero spin-off, she casually mentions that she thinks they’re done with Iron Man movies.
The quote occurs around the 6:40 mark of the video – and it’s hard to tell if Paltrow’s just speculating or coyly dropping a bombshell on fans. My personal take is that these are her feelings on things and not really the plan for the franchise moving forward, but there are some variables to consider.
Robert Downey Jr.’s contract is fulfilled with Iron Man 3, meaning that he’s not obligated to don the armor again (although it’s assumed that he will for The Avengers 2). The actor has hinted that it might be time to move on in the wake of an injury suffered on this shoot that left him out of action for several weeks. At 47, he’s not getting younger – and the role is demanding.
As odd as it is to consider someone else playing Tony Stark, there’s a fair chance Marvel and Disney might be interested in severing ties here as well. RDJ netted $50 million for The Avengers – exponentially more than any of his equally famous costars. Marvel and Disney have been pretty shrewd when it comes to keeping actor paydays low and locking performers into multiple sequels, so perhaps this is their big chance to retire Iron Man for a few years, and then come back and reboot the whole thing with a younger and more affordable actor in the lead.
We hate to think of that happening because A) we don’t really want to see Iron Man rebooted any time soon, and B) because we think RDJ is the perfect Tony Stark.
Tying that back into the Paltrow comments, perhaps the actress knows something the rest of us don’t – that RDJ has personally told her he’s not interested in doing any more of the solo films, but he’ll sign on for one more big payday in The Avengers 2. Or, perhaps she’s just subtly helping her costar in his negotiations with Marvel by pointing out that the series and one of its biggest box office draws could end if they don’t pony up the cash. It’s all speculation at this point, but it does have us wondering if this might really be the end of the line for RDJ in the famous red-and-gold suit.
We suspect we’ll know more about all of this after next week’s Iron Man 3 debut. If the film opens huge here in the States, it seems likely that Marvel and Disney will do everything in their power to coerce the star into coming back for more adventures. If not, it might be time to start thinking about who they could cast in the role to replace Robert Downey Jr.
Check out the video below and see what you make of it. Would you accept anyone other than Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man at this point? Would you be happy if he simply signed on for future Avengers films and guest spots in other Marvel features and gave up the solo adventures? Share your thoughts with us below, true believers.
[via Nerd Tears]