Though the people running the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) have been quiet with regard to a new solo installment for Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), fans continue to anticipate and speculate about a possible “Iron Man 4,” despite the absence of such an entry in Marvel’s published list of its MCU Phase 3 projects.
According to the full lineup released by Marvel, the third phase of the MCU will feature a total of 10 films with the schedule stretching all the way to 2019. Beginning with the already released “Captain America: Civil War,” the next film will be the upcoming “Doctor Strange” in November. The Sorcerer Supreme will be followed by the return of Star-Lord in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” in May of next year, followed by the standalone “Spider-Man: Homecoming” in July 2017.
The God of Thunder will return in his third film, “Thor: Ragnarok,” as the final entry in 2017. He will be followed by the solo “Black Panther film” in February 2018, which will be followed by the first “Avengers: Infinity War” film in May 2018. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Captain Marvel” will then fit in the interim until “Avengers: Infinity War Part 2” caps of the phase in May 2019.
Because of the confirmed state of the phase, the fourth “Iron Man” film would not arrive until 2020 at the earliest.
For the actor of Tony Stark himself though, he has expressed his willingness to return for another solo run in the armor should Marvel decide to create it. While promoting “Captain America: Civil War” on ABC’s “Nightline,” Downey said that he felt like he “could do one more,” sending fans into a rumor rampage.
The actor’s statement reflects his supposed confirmation of an “Iron Man 4” during his appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show last year. When asked about the prospect, Downey gave a flat out “yes,” even though some suggest he could have given a more neutral answer like “maybe.”
As for what plot the film might take, some speculate a fourth “Iron Man” film might feature a conflict between Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Speculations suggest that the film might take some cues from the “Ultimate” version of the character, where she was in a relationship with Stark and ended up being given a suit of black armor as an engagement gift. Unfortunately, that version of the Black Widow turned out to be more loyal to Mother Russia than her mainstream counterpart and was revealed to be a traitor.
How a prospective film might adapt the above into the preexisting storyline of the MCU cannot yet be confirmed with no official word from Marvel.