Robert Downey Jr. hung up the phone. Things had gotten so complicated since that Deadline reporter asked him about Mel Gibson. Now he was contradicting himself in public—first he had told Ellen DeGeneres that he was “in the middle of negotiations” for Iron Man 4, and “yes” it was going to happen. Then, later that day, he appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman. He told Dave what he told everyone—that there was no script for Iron Man 4, but Marvel had a plan, that they were working on it. But what he said next still echoed in his mind:
“Just between us, no — but I’m going to do other stuff with Marvel. I’m still going to be involved with Marvel and there’s going to be plenty of other fun stuff.”
Why had he said that? He only had one film left on his Marvel contract, and now a blog called Badass Digest was saying that Avengers 3 wouldn’t have the team from the first two movies at all, but would be used as a launching pad for different, younger characters. The author seemed pretty certain that Iron Man would be the exception, but Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t sure if he could do another movie without Scarlett and Chris and the gang. Even worse, his knees were starting to give out.
Robert Downey Jr. began to massage his temples. He checked his watch. 11:45. Maybe he should call his Sifu. God knows he needed to punch something.