Whilst Marvel is continuing plans to expand its cinematic universe, the clock is ticking on the actors that helped form this world. Factors of age and contract terms will start impacting Marvel Studios' films towards the end of its third 'Phase' in a few years time.
One person who is feeling the pinch is Robert Downey Jr. The soon to shoot "Avengers: Age of Ultron" will mark his fifth film in the suit, and contractually there's only one more to go ("Avengers 3"). As he's also the oldest of the group at 48, he tells Variety that he can see the writing on the wall:
"The smart money is you have to look at everybody's age. I'll put myself at the top of the list. Sooner or later, they've got to start over and get somebody young. I'm not there with them yet. It really is the closest thing to being a beloved contract player with a big old-timey studio that there is right now."
Right now though the actor is ready to shoot "Ultron" and spoke briefly about the film:
"This one is a very ambitious sequel. If you read it, it's dense, it's smart. Joss [Whedon] is a really smart guy. My 2-year-old is crazy about Hawkeye, and I think Jeremy [Renner] has a lot to do with the plot. There's always so many plates to spin to get these things half-right, and I'm really excited about this one."