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'Iron Man 4' release date, plot, cast news: premiere in 2020?

(Facebook/IronMan)A promotional still from "Iron Man"

Fans were disheartened when Marvel announced that the Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe did not include "Iron Man 4." However, they felt encouraged again when the list was recently updated to reveal that three additional, but currently untitled, films will also be coming out in 2020, with some speculating that the project is currently being kept under wraps to keep fans in suspense.

The last "Iron Man" film was seen almost four years ago. Since then Robert Downey, Jr., who plays the eponymous superhero, has appeared in character in the other Marvel films such as "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Captain America: Civil War," and he is slated to be in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and "Avengers: Infinity War."

Rumors are also surfacing that Downey will no longer be playing the role beyond these projects, despite the actor saying previously on "The Ellen Show" in 2014 that "Iron Man 4" is a go, although negotiations were still on-going at the time. Celebeat raised the concern that Downey may have become too busy to reprise the role, especially since he also plays the role of Sherlock Holmes in the film series. StarsPost, on the other hand, said that the actor is also gunning for a bigger paycheck, and the negotiations between him and the studio is also the reason behind the delay in releasing "Iron Man 4."

Another possible reason for his replacement is his age. Fans, however, continue to hope that the actor will continue playing the character, citing Hugh Jackman's long-running performance of "Wolverine" as an indication that one actor can hold on to a Marvel role for a long period of time.

Some rumors indicate that his exit from the film series will be shown on screen. Given that Iron Man's shoes have been filled by RiRi Williams, an MIT student who has taken on the alter-ego "Ironheart," some are speculating that this is also a storyline that may be carried over in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Until Marvel and Downey make an announcement, fans will remain anxious about the on-screen fate of their favorite billionaire playboy-turned-superhero.

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