Robert Downey Jr. is threatening to take off the Iron Man armor once and for all again, and this time he seems to mean it. It can be argued that he’s one of the main reasons we have this golden era of big and effective superhero movies and if there was a time for him to pass the torch it makes sense on the heels of Iron Man 3 and The Avengers 2.
Well it’d BETTER be after The Avengers 2. It’d be impossible to make that movie without him.
Here’s the thing: The guy has more than earned the right to do whatever he wants. More than any other actor I can think of. That said, even a diminished more bureaucratic role in future Marvel films should be doable by Downey. Think about it: anyone can be in the armor as evidenced by us seeing Jeff Bridges, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, and now Gwyneth Paltrow donning the suit. So if Tony Stark becomes more of a behind the scenes kind of guy and they don’t recast the role Downey can revisit anytime he’s ready and continuity can be preserved (because while Don Cheadle and Terence Howard are polar opposites there is no one able to fill Downey’s shoes aside from the already-used Sam Rockwell). There can be no other Tony Stark.
Apparently Downey’s most recent on set injuries plus the desire to get more deeply into filmmaking (if you didn’t know, his dad was a rather unique director) have caused him pause regarding the big tentpole movies that have aided his resurgence.
Selfishly it feels like justice that he and Johnny Depp are two of our biggest stars considering their career durability and share of behind the scenes turmoil
Here’s hoping massive stacks of cash and downtime restore his ability to make big summer movies way better than they have any right being.