Deadline has a pretty extensive interview with Robert Downey Jr. about his new drama The Judge, and of course the topic of Iron Man 4 eventually rears its head. There has been a lot of back and forth about Downey's return in this standalone sequel. Will he do it? That is still not clear, as the actor gives a lengthy answer to the question. One thing sounds clear enough though, he would definitely return for Iron Man 4 if Mel Gibson directed it.
"Correct. Why not? That movie would be bananas."
In the past, Robert Downey Jr. has made it no secret that he wants to bring both Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson into the Marvel universe in some capacity. Even with his pull as their number one star, that has yet to officially happen. And it's unclear if Marvel will ever agree to work with Mel Gibson after his somewhat troubled past. While Apocalypto is revered by critics and fans alike, it was the last movie that Mel Gibson ever directed, which was a little more than 8 years ago. Still, Marvel is known for making interesting creative decisions, and this sounds like it could be one of the best Marvel movies ever made. It's not beyond the realm of possibilities.
"We're writing this thing right now, Yucatan...and I'm like, God, if I could find a part for Mel. But he also likes to do his own thing and sometimes he goes out of his way to do the unexpected. Sometimes with these things, it becomes a matter of time, and is seems like it's getting a little bit old to hold a grudge."
Even though he teased his return in Iron Man 4 just earlier this week, Robert Downey Jr., the highest paid actor working in Hollywood at the moment, still won't give a definitive answer if he is returning or not. Reprising Tony Stark would require signing a whole new contract with Marvel, and it sounds like he's less likely to do more because of his age than anything else.
This is his latest statements on a return as Iron Man:
That's all being talked about on a bunch of different levels right now. To me, it comes down to what's the half-life of people enjoying a character? It's different on TV, where you expect the longevity over seasons while movies get a two or three year break. Marvel keeps stepping up its game, and I appreciate the way Kevin Feige and all the creatives there think. They are as in the creative wheelhouse as any great studio has been at any point. So it becomes a matter of, at what point do I cease to be an asset to what they're doing, and at what point do I feel I am spending so much time either shooting or promoting these films that I'm not actually able to get off the beachhead and do the kind of other stuff that is good for all of us. Each one of those movies is spread over two years and some people fit other things in. But I'm not 42, I'm turning 50 and now I'll have two small kids instead of one grown one, and eight Team Downey projects with people who are imagining I'm not just spending Warner Bros' money out of vanity, but that I'm taking it seriously. It all has become this thing that has to be figured out. It has come to a head, right now, where the points of departure will be."
"Yeah. I was doing a wire jump, and Shane Black, who I adore, came on and said, "We're going to try to get this before lunch." I'd been sitting around all morning, and I got up and I put on my boots and walked out, and put on the wire and said, "Jump to there?" We were in North Carolina and there were these stairs that I had to get up to get up to the floor where the bedrooms were and I busted my ankle. For some reason or other I took off the boot, whatever I did, I got to the top of the stairs and I tripped, and kind of and banged it on something and hit the ground. Right then, Susan came around the corner, she goes, "All right. Are you finally going to accept the fact that you're injured and that you're not a kid. Just look at you on the floor there. Look at you!" And she kind of kept walking through the kitchen and I was just lying there on my side, and it is just throbbing and I just started laughing. I was like, Jesus Christ. Why is it always that you realize things when you're lying there, resplendent on a wood floor, writhing in pain?"
He continues, talking about why his age may ultimately affect his decision to return for Iron Man 4.
"Well, hearing the cracking of my own bones on Iron Man 3, I finally came out of what can only be described as a five year flight of fancy where I thought, if Sherlock Holmes can do this, it means I can. If Tony can jump from one part of a scaffold to the other and not bust his ankle, well then let's do it two or three times and go to lunch. Looking back, I'm surprised and really embarrassed that some middle aged guy was thinking like that. And I honestly don't think like that presently. But I also know that it could happen again, this bit of a hypnosis that would make someone think that way."