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Will There Be an ‘Iron Man 4’? Answered

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in Iron Man 3

It’s hard not to feel nostalgic when discussing Iron Man in relation to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). After all, Iron Man was the film that started it all fourteen years ago. The MCU released the film in 2008 and it marked the first film in Kevin Feige’s grand plan to create a whole slew of films that took place in the same universe. There was no guarantee that it would pan out but Iron Man’s vast success promised a future for the MCU. No matter how many years pass, Iron Man will always remain one of the most prominent backbones of the sprawling universe.

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The 2008 film sparked two sequels, Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3. However, Iron Man’s iconic actor, Robert Downey, Jr., would ultimately appear in a total of 10 MCU films. Downey’s Iron Man boasted his own successful trilogy, became one of the Avengers, sparked a civil war with Captain America (Chris Evans), mentored Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and ultimately saved the entire Marvel universe. His debut kicked off the MCU, and his death and legacy ensured its continuation.

While Downey ensured the future of the MCU in Avengers: Endgame, it seemed he simultaneously doomed the future of the Iron Man film series. In the main MCU timeline, Iron Man is dead. Meanwhile, in real life, Downey has seemingly retired from the role. As a result, Iron Man 4 seemed to be a no-go. While there were never concrete plans for a 4th film installment, the idea was teased and toyed with in the years after Iron Man 3 and until Avengers: Endgame. However, with more characters in the MCU suiting up, Iron Man 4 could still end up becoming a reality anyways.

Will there be an Iron Man 4?

Technically, there are no official plans for Iron Man 4 but there are two MCU characters who could make it happen. The MCU’s Armor Wars project was first announced in 2020 and was initially planned as a TV series. However, in September 2022, it was announced that the project was no longer being developed as a TV series, but as a feature-length film. It would still feature the same plotline of James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle) preventing Tony Stark’s technology from being used for nefarious purposes, but would be told in the form of a film instead of a six-part TV show.

While Cheadle has denied that War Machine will take Stark’s place as Iron Man, it is a possibility for Armor Wars. It would certainly be in line with the comics, in which Rhodey did don the mantle of Iron Man. It wouldn’t be much different than what has happened with Captain America in the MCU. While Evans left the MCU and his character passed on, the mantle of Captain America was taken up by Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) sparking a fourth Captain America film – Captain America: New World Order. Hence, it wouldn’t be surprising if Armor Wars lays the foundation, or even is the platform, for Rhodey taking on the Iron Man mantle and sparking Iron Man 4.

Iron Man 4 could also occur through a different route. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiered on November 11, 2022, and officially introduced Thorne’s Ironheart. The film saw the genius build her own Iron suit in a fashion that paralleled Stark’s story. Meanwhile, her story will be further developed in the Disney+ TV series, Ironheart. However, it can’t be denied that the MCU is setting up Ironheart to be Iron Man’s true successor. While her future with the MCU isn’t clear, she very well could be at the center of an Iron Man 4. Ultimately, while Iron Man 4 isn’t confirmed, both Cheadle and Thorne boast characters who could easily take up the mantle of the hero and make a fourth Iron Man installment a reality.

(featured image: Disney)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.

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