'Iron Man 4' release date a mystery as Robert Downey Jr. gears up for TV project, 'Doctor Strange' cameo

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The past week was buzzing with numerous rumored projects for Robert Downey Jr. (RDJ), unfortunately, nothing specific directly linked to the much fan-driven “Iron Man 4.”

It appears that if plans push through, the veteran actor will don the small screen via an HBO-produced series. Variety reports that RDJ and “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto are currently negotiating on a supposed “Perry Mason” reboot. Both camps declined to comment when the media outlet reached out to them but anonymous tipsters have suggested that the actor will star in what would be his first small screen lead role.

Marvel Studios’ continued silence on the supposed “Iron Man 4” was already enough agony for fans who are still pushing for the project. But this new development, if it officially rolls out, may be the last nail in the coffin that will bury all hopes for a final standalone film with the iconic superhero. Looking at RDJ’s currently announced schedule, he is presumably busy with his other movie franchise, “Sherlock,” which has been in development as early as April this year, the actor himself revealed. He also added that filming for it will start sometime later this year. That is on top of the back-to-back shooting for “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers 4” which is scheduled to commence in November.

However, looking at other routes that Marvel and RDJ could possibly take the franchise, it is still possible that the project is already penciled in for a 2020 release. Anyway, this has always been the most feasible case taking the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) current timeline into consideration. Company president, Kevin Feige, even previously stated that talks of an “Iron Man 4” can only start by 2019.

Other notable tidbits involving the 51-year-old actor and the ever expanding MCU is that of a Tony Stark cameo in this year’s “Doctor Strange.” Comic book enthusiast and podcaster The Angry Ginger claimed that his sources have shared that the genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist will be donning the soon to be the mystical world of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange.

The discrepancy in the film’s wrap-up dates concur with this latest rumor as movie actor Benedict Wong insinuated that they only finished on Aug. 15. That is a 4-month discrepancy compared to director Scott Derrickson’s previous statement about being done with the film back in April. Reasonably, the reshoots may have something to do with the convoluted timeline but it also gives the opportunity to sneak in filming a scene or two with RDJ. Setting wise, both characters live in New York so some kind of a run-in may very well be possible if a probable narrative is to be speculated on.

RDJ is already confirmed for a short appearance in the Tom Holland starrer, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” given that they have pre-existing ties from “Captain America: Civil War.”