Iron Man comic writer Bob Layton thinks that Tony Stark will likely die in Avengers 4. Iron Man of course kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008, and star Robert Downey Jr. has been a staple of the franchise since. Since the tragic end of Avengers: Infinity War, fans have been speculating which long-time MCU characters might make the ultimate sacrifice in the next film.
Bob Layton is a comic book artist, writer and editor whose pioneering run - alongside David Michelinie - in the late 70s and early 80s is often credited with shaping the characterization of Iron Man and Tony Stark that fans most commonly associate with the sarcastic but often troubled hero. Layton was also once a key figure at Valiant Comics, including co-creating the character of Bloodshot, which will soon be brought to the big screen by Vin Diesel.
During an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Layton revealed that he believes Tony Stark probably won't survive the events of Avengers 4. Fans of the MCU have been on a 10 year journey with Stark, watching him evolve from a selfish womanizing playboy into one of the most selfless defenders of humanity in existence. When asked for his thoughts on if Stark would make it out of Avengers 4 alive, Layton discussed Downey's large commitment to Marvel Studios over the past 10 years, and suggested that the actor may be ready to move on. As to whether or not that meant Stark would have to make the ultimate sacrifice, Layton surmised:
"That is one way of doing it, but I’d only be guessing. I know this — I wouldn’t want to recast Tony Stark. Who would want to try to top Downey? But, if Tony doesn’t come back, they can put somebody else in the armor and start a new generation of Iron Man."
Avengers 4 has already cast itself as a turning point for the franchise. The only official synopsis to be released so far states, in vague terms, that the characters will come to know how fragile their reality is and the sacrifices that will have to be made in order to protect it. Fans have been speculating since the end of Infinity War, if this means the end of signature MCU characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. After all, it's well-known that the current contractual obligations of Downey, Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth will be fulfilled following Avengers 4.
Layton's discussion of Stark seems fairly ominous, although it's important to remember that he's just making an educated guess. Downey will have been with the franchise for more than 10 years by the time Avengers 4 premieres. Thus, it's definitely possible that the actor could opt to exit following Avengers 4. Whether or not that would mean the death of Tony Stark - and the likely introduction of a new Iron Man - is something fans will continue to speculate about until Avengers 4 hits theaters in 2019.
Source: Tampa Bay Times
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019