Kevin Feige: Iron Man can run for as long as James Bond

Marvel boss thinks the franchise will run and run.

In an interview with 'Entertainment Weekly', studio boss Kevin Feige has talked about the future for Marvel films and the next step for 'Iron Man'. Answering questions about the super hero franchise he has revealed that there will be a fourth instalment and also that he thinks that it has possible longevity in the same league as 007.

Speaking to the magazine he said: “I believe there will be a fourth Iron Man film and a fifth and a sixth and a 10th and a 20th,” the producer says. “I see no reason why Tony Stark can’t be as evergreen as James Bond. Or Batman for that matter. Or Spider-Man. I think Iron Man is a character just like that.”

[Iron Man 3 hits $1 billion]

The confirmation of Iron Man's return comes following speculation around Robert Downey Jr.'s commitment to the role. Downey Jr. has fulfilled his contract, and although he's definitely appearing in the next 'Avengers' movie - set to start filming next February - it looks increasingly unlikely that he will continue to portray Stark due to other commitments and the fact that it wouldn't be made for a few years, by which time he may be too old for the role.

“I’d go start another one tomorrow, but it’s not tomorrow,” Downey said. “ And there are a lot of other considerations. But I also don’t like the idea of leaving people hanging or leaving people in the lurch.”

[Favreau and Downey Jr. to reunite on 'Chef']

Not only that, but it seems that Downey Jr. has designs on world movie domination via other characters.

“My intent is to launch another franchise, independent of any that I can even imagine right now,” Downey said. “My intent is to dominate the playing field for as long as I can, with my own challenges, with myself.”

Meanwhile Kevin Feige also reveals in the same interview that a definite part of Marvel's 'Phase Three' production plans is Edgar Wright's version of 'Ant Man'. The film begins production after Wright wraps this year's apocalypse comedy starring Simon Pegg, 'The World's End'.

Says Wright: “I’ve learned a lot in the last five years, and now I’m ready to do something big and crazy. Or, I should say, small.”