Why Iron Man 4 Was Never Made:
Avengers: Endgame brought an end to at least 3 of our favorite 6 Avengers. Black Widow sacrificed herself and Captain America was given a worthy retirement, but the biggest exit was obviously taken by Iron Man. The last time we saw a solo Iron Man movie was at the very beginning of Phase 2. Beyond that, Tony Stark became a regular character for other MCU films. He appeared in 5 more films but none of those was a solo Iron Man movie. 16 movies were launched after Iron Man 3 and not one of those was an Iron Man 4.
Technically, Spider-Man villains happened because of what Tony Stark did but that doesn’t mean Tony Stark needs to fight them all in his solo films. Iron Man 4 was never in consideration. Marvel Studios isn’t very reactive to films that make a whole lot of money. Back then, Iron Man 3 became just the 12th film to have gone past $1 Billion. And among them, it was just the 4th comic book movie to have achieved the feat. If it was WB or Sony in place of Disney, they would have dropped everything else and straight-up greenlit an Iron Man 4.
But then there’s Marvel. They are willing to try out other things and not just run after money. They are going after excellence and that’s what has given them the confidence that whatever they’d sell will be bought by Millions of people. The first two Thor films weren’t the best. The third Thor movie turned out to be a unique revelation but still didn’t make $1 Billion. Despite all of this, Marvel is doing a 4th Thor movie. That’s because they trust in the story and they think that Thor still has a lot under his magic belt.
Iron Man is the face of the MCU. He is the biggest hero any shared Universe has ever had. And still, he didn’t get the 4th movie. Why is that? Because the creatives always had something bigger in mind when it came to Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr. was one of the main reasons why the Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame made the kind of money that they did. He was even the main reason for both the Spider-Man movies to have broken down the Box Office. So clearly, there was no need for a solo Iron Man film anymore.
While speaking to Vanity Fair, Avengers: Endgame writers talked about why Iron Man 4 was never on the cards:
“Stephen McFeely – Whether you like all of the 23 movies or not, the capital that Marvel built up allowed them to do things like make a movie starring a raccoon and a tree, right? You would’ve already had Iron Man 4 if it was any other studio. But they decided, ‘No, we’re going to take chances on all these other things.’ To put a flag in the ground and say, we’re going to end something and take characters off the table, is, I think, kind of daring, but selfishly it was really great for us.
It needs an end or it loses meaning. The end is what cements the thing, to actually sew it together and bring it to a crescendo, and yeah, take people off the board, finish their arcs. If Tony made it out the other side, and Iron Man 4 was waiting there, you’d be like, [shakes head] One too many…”
John Favreau started it all with Iron Man. Near Spider-Man: Far From Home’s production, here’s what he had to say about Iron Man 4:
“We haven’t talked about four. I’ve talked to [Marvel Studios president] Kevin [Feige] about it to see what they’re up to, but we definitely love working together and we love these characters. We talk about what it would be, and we always joke about the freak storyline which is the Happy Hogan storyline when he turns into a Hulk-like character. We joke about that. No plans, as of yet.
Well, the only way another Iron Man movie will now get made is when the MCU will be rebooted. Else we’re probably going to get an Ironheart franchise instead.