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With IRON MAN 3’s Success, Negotiations Heat Up Between Robert Downey Jr. and Marvel

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Celebrating the blockbuster opening for “Iron Man 3,” Robert Downey, Jr. and a score of guests enjoyed a private dinner at the world famous Spago restaurant, organized by Downey’s wife and producing partner, Susan Downey. The get-together not only marked a celebration for the success of the third film in the franchise, but it kicked off negotiations for Downey to appear in “The Avengers 2” and “The Avengers 3” features.  On a different note, Downey does not want to return for a fourth Iron Man film.

Under contract with Marvel Studios, Downey was obligated to only star in three Iron Man films. A new contract for a fourth film would prove costly for producers, with Downey earning an estimated $50 million for 2012’s “The Avengers” alone. This is a number the actor confirmed in the June issue of GQ.

“Isn’t that crazy? They are so pissed,” he said of Marvel. “I’m what’s known as a strategic cost.”

In Downey’s defense, the strategic cost of securing the man behind the iron mask is well worth it. He has made a lot of money for the producers, and according to financial analyst Doug Creutz, the actor’s departure could be just as costly. This is what he had to say:

“It would be a definite negative for that particular franchise. He is Tony Stark. The other individual franchises — Thor, Captain America, Hulk — etc., don’t have near the level of box-office potential that Iron Man does. The other way to look at it is that Iron Man would probably look more like those other franchises in terms of box-office performance without Downey.”

So, will negotiations intensify? Or, will Downey keep his promise and “retire” his Tony Stark character?  What do you think about an Iron Man film without Robert Downey, Jr.?

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“Iron Man 3″ is currently showing in theaters. It stars Robert Downey, Jr., Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, William Sadler, James Badge Dale, Yvonne Zima, Stan Lee, Stephanie Szostak, Bingbing Fan, and Dale Dickey. Drew Pearce and Shane Black wrote the screenplay based on the comic book Iron Man created by Jack Kirby, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, and Stan Lee. Shane Black directs.

Source: Heat Vision Blog