The End of the Road for Downey?


We are two weeks away from one of the most anticipated openings and the kickoff for the 2013 Summer Movie season with the release of Iron Man 3. Word is beginning to circulate that this may Robert Downey, Jr.’s final film in the franchise.

Never has there been a character and actor that have been so simpatico as Tony Starks and Downey. He has elevated what was a second-tier Marvel character to superstardom and along the way has been responsible for making Iron Man the flagship character in the Marvel universe. Downey, who made more than $50 million for The Avengers, will be without a contract after the release of this film. Is he truly serious or is this just a ploy to hit Marvel up for an unprecedented salary increase?

Downey was injured on the set making Iron Man 3 and that experience may contribute to thoughts of walking away.
“It got me thinking about how big the message from your cosmic sponsor needs to be before you pick it up. How many genre movies can I do?” says Downey. “How many follow-ups to a successful follow-up are actually fun? Because, as quiet as it’s kept, I come from a family of very innovative writers and directors and actors and artists, and the circle of friends they were in were the people I heard having pun-offs playing poker at two in the morning, and it was just the most comforting aspect of my childhood. So there’s this kind of legacy of souls from what I consider to be a very particular time in entertainment, and I’m sensing a return to that—it’s what me and the missus are doing next. It’s not unlike: I heard Brady signed on for three more years with New England, and then he’s done being a QB, because he’ll be 40. I’m 47, and I’ll be 50.”

When asked to elaborate on what he meant about what stops when he turns 50, Downey remained mum.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. Right now I don’t have a contract to do anything, and I did for the last five years.”

It is one thing to consider walking away but how much would Downey miss playing his signature character? “Here’s the thing. At whatever point I’m done with this, I’m going to have a bit of a crisis, because I probably haven’t even fully ingested how much I’ve enjoyed it, how much it’s meant,” said Downey Jr. “It so came out of kind of relative obscurity as this second-tier character from the Marvel universe, and I feel I was part of making it something more.”

Whatever decision Downey makes regarding the character, his fans cannot deny that he has left and continues to build an outstanding legacy to his ever-evolving career.