The actor says that negotiations are still ongoing for his return in what will be his 7th featured role in a Marvel movie, and his 9th appearance as Tony Stark altogether. So he's careful not to confirm he is returning outright. When Ellen DeGeneres asks the question if there will be an Iron Man 4, Robert Downey Jr. responds:
"I know there's going to be a bunch more Marvel movies. And they have big ideas of how to do it best and we're in the middle of negotiation..."
After Ellen DeGeneres prompts him for a true answer, the actor finally gives in and says what everyone has wanted to hear:
He also had this to say about the movie on his recent Reddit AMA, addressing the idea that Mel Gibson might direct:
"It was an offhanded remark to a journalist and friend. I have other projects in mind for Mel and I - sooner than later the Marvel Roster will be made public and all questions will be answered."
Robert Downey Jr. is next set to reprise the role of Iron Man/Tony Stark in next summer's Avengers: Age of Ultron. This will be followed by The Avengers 3. Following his appearance in Iron Man 3, the actor's initial contract was complete, and on June 20, 2013, he signed a new agreement with Marvel and Disney for the next two Avengers Sequels. Appearing in Iron Man 4 will require the studio and actor to come to a new agreement, which will include a new contract.
This comes just as rumors begin to swell that Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans aren't actually returning in The Avengers 3. A whole new team of superheroes are reportedly appearing in the sequel, with the original cast being saved for a different movie, perhaps Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet or Marvel's Secret War.
So far, Robert Downey Jr. has appeared as Tony Stark in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Marvel's The Avengers, with cameo appearances in The Incredible Hulk and Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant. It is possible that Iron Man 4 will kick off Marvel Phase Four.
Watch as Robert Downey Jr. confirms the Marvel movie below: