Tony Stark will have to face some big questions when Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” hits theaters May 1 of next year, but Robert Downey, Jr. seems to take it all in stride.
The film, which will mark the actor’s fifth turn as Tony Stark, brings Earth’s Mightiest Heroes together again for the first time since their record-breaking debut in 2012. With the sequel in the hands of writer/director Joss Whedon, Downey, Jr. feels they’re making a film that will more than surpass fans’ expectations.
“First of all, he’s a good writer,” remarks Downey, Jr. “I always tend to think, generally speaking, is this a movie I want to see? Because all the fine points are going to get worked out. This time, I think that from jump I thought wow, this is what I hadn’t figured out beforehand. This is what ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ should be.
“I was done with the first draft and I said, ‘Cool. I like it.’ [Producer] Kevin [Feige] was like, ‘Wait, what did you just say?’ [laughs] And [Joss] is continuing to write, even as we’re setting up shots. He’s bringing back in a line that was in the first draft or whatever.”
Going into this next film, Stark has gone through a lot after removing the ARC Reactor in his chest and forming a new outlook on his life and where he—and the Avengers—stand in the world.
“I thought that the third Iron Man was about [Tony] transcending his dependence on the merits of continuing to wear your wound,” the actor elaborates. “That was what [director] Shane [Black] and I thought was the real win, that he throws that thing that had become a dependency away. Because that was the question I was always asking, why doesn’t he get those shards out [of his chest]? It’s dangerous.
“It reminds me of all that stuff, particularly as you get a little older or if you have any existential queries whatsoever,” continues Downey, Jr. “Why aren’t I dealing with that which is going to destroy me any second anyway? The armor was kind of an extension of that. There were so many suits, but I think he realizes that making all the suits in the world, which is what he had been doing, still didn’t [help him]. His focus [now] is more on how can we make it so that there’s no problem to begin with. That there’s a bouncer at our planet’s rope. That’s the big idea.”
Stark didn’t decide to continue with the Avengers simply to continue doing what they were doing, as Downey, Jr. hints. Instead, the genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist hopes to become better prepared than ever for new threats facing humanity.
“Now I feel rather than him putting it all down, he was saying, ‘all right, job one roughly taken care of,’” explains Downey, Jr. “And I think job two [is to] go back east and get people organized and do what I can. I love that Tony’s not one of those super heroes who’s ever lost his money. [laughs] Which is great. He’s never lost his dough. But anyway, I think what he’s trying to do is set up shop where eventually this can be like with our visual effects guy, Chris Townsend. Eventually you just have to hand this over to the vendors so they can finish the job. That’s kind of what Tony’s thinking.”
Given that Tony’s powers remain firmly grounded in the world of (theoretically) possible tech, Downey, Jr. says his character has also become the voice in the group that helps to ground some of the more out-of-this-world elements of the story.
“[Tony’s] the guy who is the technologically possible super hero, [so] Joss is leaning on me a little bit, like, ‘if this is credible to you, even if you snark about it a little bit, then other people are going to buy it.’ And I’m like, ‘that’s true.’”
Speaking of Whedon, Downey, Jr. also credits the writer/director as the force that truly unites the entire cast on this venture.
“This time around, I just want to say in summary it’s been fun,” the actor concludes. “We all have become close. It just seems like we’re all genuinely developing relationships with each other. And I think the start and end of it is in trusting Joss. That he really, really knows what he’s doing.”
While “Avengers: Age of Ultron” may not hit theaters until May 1, 2015, you can stay up to date on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes by liking “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on Facebook, following @Avengers on Twitter, and keeping your eyes peeled right here to Marvel.com!