Could we see Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark beyond Avengers 3?

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Feb 19, 2014, 11:43 AM EST (Updated)

Marvel Studios' biggest star is only signed on for two more films (that we know of), but it looks like he hasn't closed the door on even more.

It's been nearly six years since Downey first portrayed Tony Stark on the big screen, and he's been the poster boy for the mammoth success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since. Last year's Iron Man 3 was the most successful solo superhero film Marvel's produced so far, and Downey's already signed on for much-anticipated roles in the second and third Avengers films. Beyond that, though, Downey's future at Marvel is still very uncertain. There's been no word on a fourth Iron Man solo film either between Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers 3 or after them, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has publicly said tha if Downey left, the company would likely "James Bond" the Stark role, throwing another actor into the mix to simply take over the Stark part without any interruption in the Cinematic Universe continuity. 

Whatever happens beyond the third Avengers flick, we know that Downey is both Marvel's longest-serving and most expensive star, so if anyone in the company's current stable of heroes is going to leave, it looks like he'd be the most likely candidate. Downey's made no secret of his attachment to the Stark character, though, and in a new interview he again opened the door for more Iron Man adventures, provided he's enthusiastic about where the character is headed.

"I would really hate for someone else to think they could step into my shoes," Downey said. "I know things are looking like that they could go on for a long while. As usual in my book, it's all about quality control and delivering a product that you can have this kind of reaction to. If they keep doing that, maybe I'll keep showing up."

So, while there would certainly have to be more, likely rather huge, contract talks to make it happen (if they haven't quietly happened already), it sounds like Downey would be happy to suit up at least one more time beyond Avengers 3, as long as Marvel delivers the goods, story-wise.

What do you think? Will it actually happen, or will we have to say goodbye to Downey after two more films?

(Movie Pilot via Comic Book Movie)