Similar to how Christopher Reeve's name is always associated with Superman, when you think of Iron Man the person that immediately comes to mind is Robert Downey Jr. The actor helped start the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2008 with Iron Man, and the franchise has already spawned two sequels. But will Downey don the armour again for Iron Man 4?
"I don't think that's in the cards", Downey admitted to USA Today. "In a way it’s Cap 3 but for me it’s like my little Iron Man 4. And then it’s back to the thing we all recognize. Everything pulls over to the side of the road when the thunder of an Avengers thing comes through because that’s how it is until it changes. If it changes".
Although these comments aren't all that surprising, it does beg some interesting questions about the fate of Tony Stark in the MCU. Downey is currently contracted for Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War - will they kill off the character or will another actor take up Iron Man's mantle?
In any case, Marvel have already started to get their ducks in a row by introducing new heroes and franchises like Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and The Inhumans. Even without Iron Man 4 on the horizon, there's plenty to look forward to.
Directed by Joe Russo and Anthony Russo, and starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman, Tom Holland, Anthony Mackie, and Sebastian Stan, Captain America: Civil War opens in UK cinemas on April 29, 2016 and May 6, 2016 in the US.