Robert Downey, Jr.’s Iron Man movies were among the first movies we got in the MCU. He was the one who got us invested in this universe in the first place. He introduced us to S.H.I.E.L.D., to the Avengers Initiative, to the Sokovia Accords – everything. He’s easily the most important character in the MCU.
But we haven’t had a solo Iron Man film since 2013’s Iron Man 3. He’s been appearing in the Avengers movies and one-off crossovers into other people’s solo movies like Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming, but we’re still waiting for Iron Man 4. Well, here are 5 Reasons Why Iron Man 4 Will Probably Never Happen (And 3 Why It Should).
8 Probably never happen: Captain America: Civil War already was Iron Man 4
The next step for Tony Stark’s character development after Iron Man 3 would be to have him face the consequences for his actions and finally accept that maybe superheroes should be governed, after previously laughing off the U.S. government in Iron Man 2. But that happened in Captain America: Civil War.
There’s a reason why a lot of people called Captain America: Civil War, “Avengers 2.5.” It’s because, while it is technically Captain America’s third solo movie, it acts as a bridge between the second and third Avengers movies. The film focuses on Tony Stark as much as Cap – and the movie also acts as a mini-prologue to Black Panther.
7 Why it should: It would be a chance to fix Iron Man 3
The last solo Iron Man film we had, Iron Man 3, was a bitter disappointment to most fans. It gave us closure on Tony’s journey, as he tossed the Arc Reactor keeping him alive in the ocean at the end of the movie and we see him find true love with Pepper. But he can’t go out like that.
In fifty years, when we look back on the Iron Man trilogy, it’ll always end on a bum note. We need Iron Man 4 to come in and right the wrongs of Iron Man 3. It would give the character’s solo franchise a chance to redo its ending.
6 Probably never happen: Iron Man might die in Avengers: Endgame
A lot of the MCU’s main players are expected to die in Avengers: Endgame. Obviously, a lot of them disappeared after Thanos snapped his fingers in Infinity War, and Iron Man was spared. But we all know they’re not dead and something else is up. The ones left behind were Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow – in other words, everyone who’s always been there and could be moving on to other projects.
The ones who disappeared – Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, most of the Guardians of the Galaxy – are the ones with sequels announced. So, maybe the ones who disappeared were the lucky ones. Either way, Downey’s contract is up and he’s signing on to other projects, like Sherlock Holmes 3 and the new Dr. Dolittle reboot, so his MCU future doesn’t look good.
5 Why it should: It would be the perfect way to send off Robert Downey, Jr.
The Avengers movies are ensemble pieces, so there’s no way Avengers: Endgame can give Robert Downey, Jr. a proper send-off. It has dozens of other characters to serve and a huge, sweeping, epic story to tell about a crisis with universe-wide ramifications, so even if Endgame sees the death of Tony Stark, there’s no way it would be the right conclusion for the MCU’s first hero.
Iron Man 4 would provide an opportunity to let Downey out of his Marvel commitments by also seeing the character out in the right way. We’ll just have to see how Endgame goes first.
4 Probably never happen: Fans don’t want to see anyone else as Iron Man
There was once talks of doing Iron Man 4 without Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark. Instead, Ty Simpkins would reprise his role as Harley Keener, Tony’s kid sidekick from Iron Man 3, and take over the Iron Man armor and go on his own adventures.
But it’s not the Iron Man armor that Marvel fans love – it’s the man underneath it, Tony Stark. And it’s also Robert Downey, Jr. playing him that they love. So, no one else could play him, either. Whatever the Marvel producers decide, Harley Keener taking over as Iron Man definitely wouldn’t work.
3 Why it should: Don Cheadle wants to do it
After Iron Man 3 was released, Don Cheadle threw shade over the idea of a fourth Iron Man movie, but also hinted that a sequel could be possible.
He said, “The door is always left open in these kinds of movies, especially when they do as well as they have done. I know there was talk of making sure we did this one right, and if it worked, it could be the last one. There’s room for more to be done with these characters. We’re getting to a sweet spot with Tony and Rhodey, anyway.” Iron Man 3 didn’t work, and there is still room for Tony and Rhodey’s relationship to grow, so Iron Man 4 could be a good idea.
2 Probably never happen: It’s been announced a bunch of times and nothing’s happened
Way back in 2014, Robert Downey, Jr. was asked about his upcoming Marvel movies and he said, “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...” Then he was pressured over whether or not that meant Iron Man 4 was on and he said, “Okay, yes!”
That got fans excited back in 2014, but it’s now 2019 and we still have no Iron Man 4. There have been a few announcements, but so far, we’ve had nothing concrete where it actually went into production and got made.
1 Probably never happen: We’ve already seen all the major events in Tony’s life
If the point of solo movies is to tell the life story of their heroes, then there’s no need for an Iron Man 4, because we’ve already seen all the major events from Tony’s life in the other MCU movies.
He faced consequences for his actions in Captain America: Civil War, he confronted the idea of death and the “endgame” in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he proposed to Pepper in Spider-Man: Homecoming – there’s nothing left in this guy’s character arc to explore in another solo movie. We’ve seen it all. There’s nothing left for Iron Man 4 to be about.