Robert Downey Jr. Likely Returning for ‘Avengers 2′; Likes Being ‘Company Man’

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Robert Downey Jr. Avengers 2 Iron Man Tony Stark Robert Downey Jr. Likely Returning for Avengers 2; Likes Being Company Man

Iron Man 3 ends Robert Downey Jr.’s four-film contract to play Tony Stark, and with the actor’s tough-talking agents and lawyers facing off against Marvel – a studio that readily subbed Mark Ruffalo for Edward Norton (and on a lesser note in his own franchise, Don Cheadle for Terrence Howard) – no one’s been sure if the two parties could agree on a number that would get Downey Jr. back in the metal suit for Avengers 2. Marvel’s President of Production Kevin Feige added to the uncertainty when he told Badass Digest that if the deal-making soured, the worst case scenario for the Iron Man character is that “we James Bond it.”

In the midst of the uncertainty, Robert Downey Jr. was still showing up on set to shoot Iron Man 3. When the 47-year-old actor hurt his ankle in August, causing production to be halted for several weeks, it fueled speculation that the two-time Oscar nominee might decide against committing to several more years on an action franchise. At an early press day for Iron Man 3, Downey Jr. spoke openly with Screen Rant about his still-pending deal with Marvel and the possibility of his replacement—“I’m sure they’ve thought about it,” he said—but confirmed that he’d love to keep playing Tony Stark, and that the negotiations were going well. Said Downey Jr., “I like being a company man.”

iron man 3 trailer091 570x242 Robert Downey Jr. Likely Returning for Avengers 2; Likes Being Company Man

“I feel like I got sold to Disney for $4 billion dollars,” he joked. “It’s been very humbling because I always realize that you’re just kind of part of this thing, you know? And I think the problems begin when any one person involved in particularly anything that’s successful decides that they have some sort of ownership to it, because really, this is something that Stan Lee scratched down going on, what, 50 years ago now.”

As for the tone of the talks, Downey Jr. was remarkably candid about why he was initially reluctant to return to the franchise before thinking hard about what the hit character had meant to his career.

“I was annoyed for a while about, you know, you have a contract where in success, very little changes for you and then they make all this dough. But then I think about it and it’s like, ‘What was I really doing before I got Iron Man?’ Then I go, ‘Don’t lead with that, Robert! That’s not where we are! You’re a big prime mover!’ And I go, ‘Yeah, yeah, I get that. I could talk about that for two hours. But let’s look at what really happened here.’

So I’m a big believer in: I don’t like leverage, I don’t like negotiating. I like being really straight and saying, ‘Okay, let’s really look at this.’ I’m not going to pretend I’m over it and whatever. I mean, obviously it’s better to have a contract run out then it is to have one go on indefinitely—I guess that’s why contracts have limits on them. Let me just say me and the agents and the lawyers are having a bit of a ball right now. ‘You pinch me! No, you pinch me!’”

The Avengers 360 Shot Post Conversion 3D Robert Downey Jr. Likely Returning for Avengers 2; Likes Being Company Man

Though Downey Jr.’s reportedly $50 million paycheck for The Avengers (which includes back-ends and bonuses) will wind up being roughly 20 times higher than Marvel’s reportedly $2-$3 million deals with Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo, he stressed that he’s not that nasty of a negotiator.

“I don’t like this whole, and I think it’s a particularly Western thing—well, not any more because we’re kind of being out-paced by the East, business-wise—but that thing of, ‘We got ‘em—now let’s screw ‘em to the floor!’ It’s like, is that what gets you off? Making people feel bad? ‘Ugh, they really put the screws to us, brother?’ Weren’t we excited about the future a couple years ago and now we’re just laying the boots to each other? It’s just so disgusting. I’m an artist!”

Besides money, Downey Jr. pointed to his personal reasons for continuing to play Tony Stark.

“There’s, to me, that kind of wish list or grab bag of things. ‘We haven’t been able to get this in the movie yet—maybe this time we’ll get to—!’ or whatever. I put so much onus on Iron Man 3. Iron Man 3 was supposed to answer all the questions for the audience, cure all of my uncomfortable moments in the past with playing this character, and get in every idea that fell by the wayside in the last three movies. And then we shot the movie and I still feel there’s a couple other things we’ve gotta do.”

Happy to hear that RDJ wants to keep playing Tony Stark?

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Iron Man 3 will be in theaters on May 3, 2013.

Follow Amy Nicholson on Twitter: @TheAmyNicholson

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TAGS: iron man, iron man 3, the avengers 2

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  1. Well, if he’s not Iron Man the next movies are going to suck. I mean he’s basically the face of Iron Man now, heck even the cartoon is modeled after Robert. What the heck man hes one of my favorite actors, isn’t there any actor who just loves their role more than the money?

    • Yes, David Tennant. If you don’t know him, he played the Doctor on Doctor Who. He was immensely popular with the fandom, and he loved playing the character, which was a childhood dream of his. After four years, he quit because he was worried that if he stayed on, it would become just another job rather than something he did for fun. He could’ve kept going for the money, but he quit for the art. And I think RDJ cares more about the role than the money, it’s just a lot of actors are worried about being taken advantage of, and he’s one of them. I mean, consider the fact that Terrance Howard got paid more than him for the first Iron Man. He’s probably a little concerned that the studio, particularly now that it’s owned by cash cow Disney, isn’t going to give him what he’s worth. Hopefully everything will work out though.

    • YOU KNOW HAT YOUR WRITE NO ONE COULD REPLACE ROBERT IN IRON AND BE GOOD AT HIS PART AND YOU WHY” BECAUSE HE’S PLAYED IN ALL 3 JUST WHAT A NOTHER YEAR OR SO TO GET HIS ANLKE BETTER, I’M SICK OF PEOPLR REPLACING ACTORS AFTER THEY HAVE STARED IN MOST OF THE MOVIES LIKE SPIDER-MAN “TOBEY HE’S WAS A GOOD ACTOR THEY REPLACED HIM. I WAS MAD VERY.

      • Sorry about mis-spelled words but i was to mad to fixed it.

      • toby stunk as spiderman..replacing him was a non issue…downey IS ironman…has been since that line in the movie …when you find the perfect guy for the role, dont fix what aint broke

  2. I am a huge fan of ROBERT DOWNEY JR. and I personally think that replacing him from the tony stark character would certainly result in a downfall of Avengers 2…..because it is he who keeps the screen and the movie alive..!

    I JUST DON’T THINK ANYBODY WILL BE FIT ENOUGH TO REPLACE HIM AS “THE IRON MAN”………!!

  3. If they replace him down the line, it’ll hurt, but I’ll get over it. However, if I see Bradley Cooper or anyone who isn’t Robby in Avengers 2, I’ll pretend it is him and take long bathroom breaks during his scenes in every subsequent viewing, including when I watch it at home.

  4. I want Jr back for Avengers 2 I love him as the character so much. I may sound awful when I say this but i’m actually hoping they kill stark in Avengers 2 I mean I guess anything is possible and Whedon says that awful things will happen in Avengers 2 and Tony dying is AWFUL!!!!!! But I feel that if they kill the character off they can make it a great dramatic conclusion for Iron Man and they won’t have to worry about the pressure of recasting him and I guess I would feel more comfortable that way I’m fine with the role being re-casted when years pass and they feel like rebooting marvel movies and they recast iron man then I would be fine with it but I’m hoping they don’t James bond it I was never a fan of that at all at least until Craig came along. Also if they kill the character I won’t have to worry about it being recasted, I also won’t be suprised if eventually they kill Cap and have Bucky take over and have Bucky start a new team with Thor and Ant-Man

    • The bad things is the civil war arc which means…cap dies soon…which sucks…j hope im wrong

  5. i hope marvel keeps robert for the role of iron man. without him iron man just wouldnt be the same…to me iron man is in the same situation as some of the other marvel characters, for example wolverine. if they tried to replace hugh jackman then wolverine would be no more and it is the exact same with robert as tony stark. please marvel…..dont replace robert

  6. I’d have rather had Sean Connery star in OHMSS, but it didn’t happen, but Bond series continued. And the same will go for the Avengers and Iron Man franchises. If they replaced him they should do it by Avengers 2, rather than start a whole new Iron Man solo movie with a new actor.

    Of course RDJ has a lot more mileage in him and should be able to physically play the role for many more years. I hope he gets re-signed, and anything short of a pay cut there should be no reason why he shouldn’t continue. Both sides are doing well with their current arrangement, so if it doesn’t happen then one side probably got too greedy.

  7. I think a recast Tony Stark will not bode well for any Avengers or Iron Man sequels. He has made this role his own and I can’t see another actor pulling it off the way Robert Downey has. There have been so many character recasts in recent movies that it’s starting to get tiresome. Look what happened to the Batman franchise in the 1990′s when Keaton left the role. That franchise tanked badly, however Nolan’s reboot was a breath of fresh air. I’m glad he made no attempt to recast Joker after Dark Knight. Ledger was perfect and sad we lost him so soon. In short, please Downey keep Stark your own and keep this new venture from turning into Batman franchise number one.

  8. U really want Robert Downey junior to keep playing tony stark. It wouldn’t be the same without him. If Robert was NOT in it I probably wouldn’t go see it. I love him as iron man and I think he should continue in with iron man.

  9. Honestly, I wouldn’t go see anything that has Iron Man in it that isn’t played by Robert Downey Jr. You’re NOT getting my money that way.
    Marvel can kill the character off if RDJ decides to quit, but just please don’t recast him, especially if the character has to appear alongside the same cast of The Avengers.
    If Marvel hasn’t realized by now, RDJ IS Tony Stark. He doesn’t even have to act; he and the Iron Man are one. Anybody else doing this role would be the downfall of the franchise.

    Take a hint from Christopher Nolan’s huge success with the Dark Knight Trilogy.
    It’s always better to end on a legendary note than a crappy recast/reboot.

  10. Seriously, no one wants other face inside that suit… The character will never be the same if they will recast Iron man. Marvel should realize that a higher pay nego for RDJ will be worth, as all the growing fans of Marvel, specially Iron man will absolutely flood the cinema and eventually fill Marvel’s pockets… Rather than loosing the peek fame of the character and eventually a definite fall for their gross profits… When RDJ talks, walks, dress up, I see Tony Stark… It’s the CHARISMA of the character that made the fans wanting for more… Robert Downey Jr is Tony Stark, BECAUSE THEY ARE CONNECTED.

  11. RDjr cant be replaced by nobody in the world he one of a kind, pleace dont focus in the money focus in wat the fans think about you so yeah

  12. The people have spoken, and Marvel should listen. Disney would not dare recast Captain Jack Sparrow… would they????

  13. Quote from Ironman 3
    Robert Downey Jr: “I am Ironman”

  14. With all honesty,
    I can openly say that if RDJ isn’t Iron Man,then there is no Iron Man.
    He IS Iron Man.He’s a good actor who is the best at what he does.They can’t possibly try to replace him,all they will do is ruin everything that they have brought to life.I know a lot of people who would pay good money to see him stay as Iron Man.And that same lot wouldn’t pay a single dime if RDJ were no longer Iron Man.i’m just saying,yes they will make alot of money,but they’ll also lose a lot if they even so much as keep thinking to replace him.

  15. As much as I get reality, the fans love continuity, that’s what’s making these films so great! James Bond are stand alone stories loosely tied together, don’t do it

  16. I wish I could get screwed to the tune of $2-3 million dollars. F*ck. Perspective.

  17. i think they should replace rdj i don’t want to see him go he did such a great job but damn that guys expensive the negotiating has been rumoured to go as high as 100 million dollars and that’s a lot and it would cost too much to keep him and the marvel movies are going to go for a long time they don’t plan on rebooting it not for a while anyway so they are going to have to recast a bit but then again that could just blow up in their faces and i don;t see anyone else playing iron man but either way they go I’ll be back for any and all sequels

  18. I don’t think its a money thing. I think he just hates the idea of being a company’s property getting locked into a contract selling 5 years of your life away. Its like tool, they could have moved on with their lives but they HAVE TO make another album and its not the same as free will.

  19. To be honest, i really hope Robert will be in Avengers 2, but i hope Joss Whedon and the crew of the film kill him off at the end, giving it a big reaction to the crowed and to leave RDJ’s Tony Stark/Iron man alone and pretty much at peace, knowing that they cant mess around with that character.

    • He is, and Avengers 3.

  20. Yay iron man please keep playing

  21. you know what? i don’t like iron man but f*cking in love with Downey Jr. without him playing iron man, i don’t know what to see in “iron man 4″. just look at Thor and Captain America, peace of sh#t

  22. I don’t think ill ever get over it if they replace RDJ lol seriously that would be the ultimate betrayal, I’m a huge fan of Iron Man, read the comics, bought the merch and it’s all because of how well RDJ played his part, I try to but can’t IMAGINE someone else playing the role!! But I’m sure RDJ is pretty much sick of being the poster guy for Marvel, its definately a lot of hard work.. Hopefully he signs for Avengers 2. I don’t want an Iron Man 4 if it doesn’t have RDJ.

  23. “And then we shot the movie and I still feel there’s a couple other things we’ve gotta do.”

    I think he was speaking on The Avengers 2, and 3. possibly. Not Iron Man 4.

  24. Iron man is my far most favorite avenger. It’s mostly because of the actor. RDJ plays the part perfectly, and I would hate to see him leave.

  25. RDJ only you can be tony stark

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