Despite being the most lucrative sub-franchise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, second only to the flagship Avengers series, there are currently no plans for a new Iron Man movie. If another sequel were to happen in Phase 4 however - and it is a possibility we've suggested on numerous occasions - star Robert Downey Jr. wants Mel Gibson to direct Iron Man 4.
Years ago Mel Gibson gave RDJ a chance when his personal life wasn't is the best of places, and as a believer and beneficiary of second chances and redemption, he sort of wants to repay the favor. Robert Downey Jr. wants Mel Gibson to join the MCU and he's said this repeatedly. Even Iron Man 3 director and co-writer Shane Black recently spoke to RDJ's desire to re-team with Gibson and as it turns out, the two-time Oscar winner was already offered a key role in the universe. Mel Gibson almost played Odin in Thor.
Can you picture it? Instead of Sir Anthony Hopkins' depiction of the wise Asgardian King, Marvel almost had Braveheart himself as the father of Chris Hemsworth's Thor. They're are both Australian after all (Gibson was Aussie-raised) and wouldn't you know it, Thor: Ragnarok is shooting in Australia this summer featuring plenty of Aussie and New Zealand actors...
So, why didn't this happen? Speaking with The Guardian at the Cannes Film Festival for his new leading role in Blood Father, Gibson was asked a few questions about the shift in Hollywood since the '80s and the current era of superhero movies. Gibson enjoyed how funny Guardians of the Galaxy was and revealed this little tidbit when asked if he was ever offered a superhero role:
"Yeah, long time ago, to play Thor’s dad. But I didn’t do it."
Thor was in development for a time before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a thing. In 2007 Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service) was attached to direct Thor but his script required a whopping $300 million budget that needed to be halved. And then Iron Man happened in 2008 and blew up, solidifying Marvel Studios as a worthy new production house in Hollywood and resulting in the immediate greenlighting of a sequel and origin movies for Captain America and Thor. So somewhere in there Gibson could have been offered the part since back then Marvel was using unknown actors as leads and backing them up with Oscar-worthy supporting players.
There's still always a chance that Gibson could find himself in the MCU if Robert Downey Jr. really wants it to happen. Popular '80s stars including Kurt Russell, Michael Keaton, and Jeff Goldblum are all joining the MCU in the near future. Maybe he can play another Elder of the universe.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
Source: The Guardian