With the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) on its third phase and passing the $10-billion sales mark, nostalgic conversations with people involved in the pioneering project that is 2008’s “Iron Man” have begun popping out. This only heightens buzz that the empire is gearing towards a fourth iteration and possibly a fitting swan song for Robert Downey Jr.’s iconic superhero role.
It is no secret that it was Marvel-returning filmmaker Jon Favreau who relentlessly campaigned for RDJ’s eventual casting at a time when everything seems to be shadowed by the actor’s past misdemeanors. During the peak of the “Captain America: Civil War” press rounds, Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige also opened up on the rigorous casting process that will, later on, kick start the growing MCU.
“There was debate about Robert; are we going to build the entire future of this studio on somebody who at that point had baggage?” Feige told Deadline. “That is why we did an audition, to say, we know he’s great but let’s put it on film so nobody can say otherwise.”
The screen test, now going around in social media had the 51-year-old actor read some lines not as the superhero but as the billionaire, weapons maker Tony Stark instead. This decision, Feige belatedly revealed, was intentional. “I love that people use Iron Man and Tony Stark interchangeably… Our characters need to be as interesting out of their costumes as they are inside their costumes, fighting and flying around,” he explained.
Despite having some doubts, Feige admits that at the back of his mind he knows that the casting has potential greatness. Now, 8 years and 8 movies later, die-hard Iron Man fans are still clamoring for another standalone movie with the talk, this time especially hyped up with the way Tony was left at the end of “Civil War.”
Aside from “Civil War” being a narrative springboard, a supposed Easter egg from last year’s “Ant-Man” may also insinuate a possible plot for “Iron Man 4.” Eagle-eyed fans spotted the link when a supposed businessman visiting Pym Tech to bid on the Ant-Man tech was sporting a “Ten Rings of the Mandarin” tattoo. The Ten Rings organization was the terror group who kidnapped Tony in the first “Iron Man” film and prompted him to create the first Iron suit. From then on, not much is known about the squad other than Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) commissioned them to abduct Tony and take over Stark Industries.
Shall people working at Marvel go down the path of revealing more about the Ten Rings and even the real Mandarin, it would be a great way to appease fans who are not very happy with how “Iron Man 3” was told. The Shane Black movie remains to be one of the most divisive projects from the production company specifically with the translation of the Mandarin on screen. It turns out to be that the menacing being is nothing else but a decoy character played by actor Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) and controlled by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). Whereas his comic book counterpart is a genius scientist and a superhumanly skilled martial artist with powers primarily rooted from his 10 power rings, which makes him one of the most memorable Iron Man villains
There is no official word as of yet whether an “Iron Man 4” is in the works or not.