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Published On: Wed, May 8th, 2013

Robert Downey Jr in talks for ‘Avengers 2,’ ‘Avengers 3’ but ‘reluctant’ to do ‘Iron Man 4’

Robert Downey Jr has reportedly entered talks for Avengers 2 and Avengers 3, but may not have any interest in returning for a solo Iron Man 4 film.

The Hollywood Reporter is claiming in the May 7 article that another sequel has not been part of the discussions.

iron-man-3-international-poster-armorsDowney has entered negotiations to reprise his role in Marvel’s The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3, the first of which has a May 1, 2015, release date and will cap what is known as Phase 2 of the Marvel movies.

This is the similar plan, the way 2012’s Avengers culminated the first Marvel wave that began with 2008’s Iron Man.

Avengers 3 has no release date and probably will not hit screens at least until the end of Phase 3, in 2017.

 For Avengers, Downey’s pay zoomed past $50 million with box-office bonuses and backend, a number the actor confirmed in the June issue of GQ. “Isn’t that crazy? They are so pissed,” he said of Marvel. “I’m what’s known as a strategic cost.”

Analyist Doug Creutz of Cowen and Co. is quoted in the article noting that the unit generates $400 million to $500 million in annual operating income, about 5 percent of Disney’s total haul.

With taxes, Creutz believes Disney CEO Robert Iger’s $4.3 billion acquisition of the company in 2009 will have paid for itself in 15 years, far earlier than analysts first predicted. Even Paramount, whose right to distribute Iron Man 3 was bought out in the 2009 Disney deal, will earn more than $100 million if the film continues its trajectory, according to another analyst. 

Cruetz suggests a Downey departure could cost Marvel as much as 9 percent of its earnings in the near term.

“It would be a definite negative for that particular franchise. “He is Tony Stark. The other individual franchises — Thor, Captain America, Hulk — etc., don’t have near the level of box-office potential that Iron Man does,” says Creutz.

“The other way to look at it is that Iron Man would probably look more like those other franchises in terms of box-office performance without Downey.”

About the Author

- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

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