Robert Downey Jr. likely has his star and image firmly rested as Tony Stark/ Iron Man at this point. It makes a lot of sense considering he just headlined one of the biggest and most ambitious movie franchises that’s ever come along. You don’t just spend tons of hours on screen and make billions of dollars at the box office with a character only to just move on to the next thing. He’ll forever be tied to Marvel’s Avengers. But now there are rumors that Downey Jr. could be joining another huge potential franchise near the relative beginning. Reportedly, he’s in discussions to join Tron when the franchise reboots.
This latest rumor about Robert Downey Jr. has him in talks to possibly join the upcoming Tron: Ares or another film in the budding franchise. This is still in the beginning stages with only Jared Leto confirmed with for the upcoming movie so there could be a lot of directions for Downey Jr. to take here. He could come on as another lead or we could see a villain turn for this next film. If the actor is looking to distance himself from the Tony Stark persona, Tron definitely has a different vibe to it while also falling into the big-budget realm.
And there could be a lot of money thrown behind this franchise with recent reports that the studio is spending upwards of $170 million on the film. That would make it one of the most expensive movies ever made. It would speak to not only the special effects budget but also the signing of bigger names in the industry to headline roles. Robert Downey Jr. still has enormous cache around his acting chops and ability to draw for the right type of film. That operating budget could be with other movies in mind as well and if they are turning Tron into another major franchise, then they’ll need the financials to bring on big names.
Tron: Ares and other potential movies in the franchise will follow the original Tron which came out in 1982 and eventually made its way to cult status. Almost 30 years later we got the sequel in Tron: Legacy which ended up as a solid hit for Disney with $400 million at the box office on a $170 million budget. But even that was more than a decade ago leaving the franchise in something of limbo until recently. If actors like Robert Downey Jr. are going to join Jared Leto in the production then there could be more of a solid timeline developing for future films.
As for Robert Downey Jr., his most recent post-Avengers movie was Dolittle which barely scraped over its $175 million budget with $251 million at the box office. It was also a total bomb with critics, sitting at 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. There’s a sense that he needs to bounce back with his next film. That could end up being the next in the Sherlock Holmes franchise which is currently in pre-production. But it could also be in the form of joining the Tron franchise as well which has a lot of dollars already behind it.