Joss Whedon has weighed in on the speculation as to whether Robert Downey Jr. will hang up his metal mask after Iron Man 3 .
The threequel has opened to astonishing, Avengers -busting numbers internationally ($195m), adding further fuel to the fires of discussion as to how long RDJ will stay in the role.
“I am not the guy who has to worry about him being replaced. He is Iron Man at this point. When I heard that he was cast I knew that something had just changed, and I usually don’t know stuff like that. I was like ‘Now we are in a new phase.’ The way he embodies it… I love working with him. He is so perfect for it, Shane [ Black ] captures it so perfectly in this movie.
“I want him to play it forever. The great thing is that he has a flying metal suit. So it’s not like those Charles Bronson or Roger Moore movies where you’re like ‘Dude, you can barely stand.’ He’s got some fight in him. At the same time, if Robert decides to hang it up, he has a perfectly good excuse.”
And then he was asked if the superhero dream team should be worried about the impending threat of Thanos (the big bad glimpsed during The Avengers ’ mid-credit sequence), Whedon added:
“Well, Thanos is more powerful [ than The Avengers ]. He is so powerful, he is not someone you can just trot out and punch him. Like he did in the comics, you want him to be threading through the universe and to save the big finale for the big finale. He is definitely a part of what I’ve got going on.
“The thing about the Avengers is that they are very powerful, but they’re not very stable. So, there will definitely be some people that will shake them up in the next installment.”
The Avengers 2 is set to open on 1 May 2015. Whether we’ll have to wait for an Avengers 3 to see a full-on Thanos showdown remains to be seen…