Robert Downey Jr. is a smart business man. And his latest movie The Judge is coming from his own production company Team Downey. He wants to sell the movie, and what better way to do that than use his most popular character as leverage? So he's going on various talk shows and saying various things, to get eyes on the real prize at the moment: His performance in this drama that opens this weekend. First he tells The Ellen DeGeneres Show that yes, Iron Man 4 is happening. The news instantly goes viral. Later that same day, he goes on Late Show with David Letterman and has a completely different story, saying what he's said before. That Marvel and Disney have NO plans for a sequel.

Robert Downey Jr. now wants to reiterate the fact that Iron Man 4 isn't likely to happen anytime soon. At least not with him. But Marvel does have a plan, and that includes bringing the actor back as Tony Stark in at least one or more movies past The Avengers 3, which is right now scheduled to be his final movie for the studio.

Speaking with David Letterman, Robert Downey Jr. says:

"There's no plans for an Iron Man 4 . There's no script for Iron Man 4, but they do have a plan and I think they're gonna announce it. You know, [Marvel's] very secretive about it."

Later in the interview, David Letterman brings the subject up again, and this is where Robert Downey Jr. reveals that Tony Stark may continue on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

Just between us, no, but I'm gonna do other stuff with Marvel. I'm still going to be involved with Marvel and there's gonna be plenty of fun stuff to happen."

He doesn't outright say that Tony Stark will be back following The Avengers 3, and for all we know, Team Downey may be producing an upcoming movie, or Robert Downey Jr. may want to take a role behind the scenes. Anything is possible.

RELATED: This Life-Sized Iron Man Suit Can Be Yours for $360K

Robert Downey Jr. has already wrapped his role in next summer's Avengers: Age of Ultron. This will be followed by The Avengers 3 for Marvel and Disney. As many know, following his appearance in Iron Man 3, the actor's initial contract with the studios was completed. On June 20, 2013, he signed a new agreement for the next two Avengers Sequels.

Yesterday, Robert Downey Jr. claimed that he is once again in negotiations. It was revealed over the weekend that The Avengers 3 may be saving its key players for a later date, instead bringing in new heroes. What this means is that Marvel may be saving Robert Downey Jr. for an appearance in Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet or Marvel's Secret War or both. Of course, none of this has been confirmed by Disney or Marvel.

You can check out the actor's full interview here:

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange