Robert Downey Jr. Hints 'Iron Man' Retirement

Iron Man 3 Poster Collage - P 2013
<p>Iron Man 3 Poster Collage - P 2013</p>   |   Marvel
The centerpiece of the Marvel movie juggernaut says that his family's creative legacy is pulling him toward new and different projects, with a Tony Stark end date in mind.

Tony Stark inherited his father's brains, and eventually, heeded the call to heroism. Now, the man who put that Marvel character on the pop culture map is being beckoned toward fulfilling his own familial destiny.

Robert Downey Jr. keyed the rise of Marvel Studio's empire of superhero franchise films, his first two turns as the title playboy in Iron Man leading to Captain America, Thor and The Avengers. With the third Iron Man film less than a month from release, the second Avengers already written and a small vault of gold a reward for his super efforts, Downey says that he's looking toward exiting the mecha-armor for good -- thanks in part to an ankle injury he suffered doing an on-set stunt.

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"It got me thinking about how big the message from your cosmic sponsor needs to be before you pick it up," he tells GQ in a new cover profile. "How many genre movies can I do? How many follow-ups to a successful follow-up are actually fun?"

He reasons that, "I come from a family of very innovative writers and directors and actors and artists, and the circle of friends they were in were the people I heard having pun-offs playing poker at two in the morning, and it was just the most comforting aspect of my childhood. So there's this kind of legacy of souls from what I consider to be a very particular time in entertainment, and I'm sensing a return to that."

As for a time line, he points toward the three-year contract recently signed by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, which will take the Super Bowl winner to his retirement. His contract is up, Downey says, and he's hoping to direct a Halloween-type horror film. He'll also star in the movie as "a Village Voice reporter on the run."

Whenever he finishes with Iron Man, Downey says, "I'm going to have a bit of a crisis, because I probably haven't even fully ingested how much I've enjoyed it, how much it's meant."

This summer, Downey will co-star in a film he is producing with his wife, a drama called The Judge, in which he plays Robert Duvall's son.

For more, click over to GQ.