Marvel Studios has confirmed that there will be a fourth installment of the Iron Man franchise. The issue is when the movie will be given the green light to start work. The studio has made the commitment that there will be more Iron Man solo films in the future but did not give any kind of timeline to the commitment.
There are several issues that are looming over the film and its start date. The following are some of the major issues that need resolved before the film can really begin.
Robert Downey Jr.
One key issue is the fact that Robert Downey Jr. has not signed on for the fourth film. He has committed to Avengers 2 and 3 with a contract but there is nothing about Iron Man 4. The veteran actor may not play Iron Man in the future. There has been some speculation that the character may be given to a younger actor for future movies. Marvel Studios has stated that the franchise will continue after Robert Downey Jr. no longer wishes to play the role. Many fans believe that changing may create a backlash and fewer ticket sales. The real question is simple: can anyone else do the role with the same skill and ability as Robert Downey Jr? The answer remains to be seen.
Phase Three seems full
The second major issue is the contents of phase three of Marvel Studios. The current film list does not include Iron Man 4 for the next phase. This may be in part because the studio will be introducing new characters will individual films such as Doctor Strange. Iron Man 4 may have to wait until after the third Avengers film which looks like it might take place in the summer of 2017.
Focus on Other Projects
Marvel seems determined to create a series of new characters and solo films that will pull even more characters into the Avengers franchise. Rumors have a variety of new characters coming in late Phase Three or early Phase Four. Some of these potential movies could see characters like Black Panther and Ms. Marvel who could be vital in a Thanos based storyline for Avengers 3 or 4. There are also rumors that the studio may be in the process of creating a Black Widow film to generate a female solo feature film.
Iron Man may have future spinoffs with a War Machine movie. The potential of spinoffs may also create a delay in the addition of Iron Man 4. However, this seems unlikely that the studio would leave out Iron Man with the sidekick movie.
Iron Man 4 is on the future for Marvel Studios, no one seems to know when that movie might start. One thing is sure, we will definitely be seeing more of Iron Man.