1. This is a great idea. Everyone knew that Marvel would figure out some way to keep making movies where Robert Downey Jr. wears some kind of cool metal suit. But Iron Man 4 was always a skeptical proposition. “Fun, Shambling Mess” is basically the best you can hope for when it comes to fourquels. (See: The fish-out-of-time-water shenanigans in Star Trek IV; Stallone solving the Cold War with his fists in Rocky IV; Harry and Ron having a really wacky wizard prom in Goblet of Fire.) Marvel could’ve positioned a fourth Iron Man movie as a complete in-franchise reboot by pulling a Ghost Protocol and giving Tony Stark a whole new milieu/supporting cast/’tude. Even then, Iron Man 4 would have had to be one of the top five most successful movies ever; anything else would be regarded as a very lucrative disappointment. But now, those daring renegades at Marvel have rewritten the rules of franchising once again.
2. This is a horrible idea. Everyone knew that Marvel would figure out some way to keep making movies where Robert Downey Jr. wears some kind of weird facial hair. But Iron Man 4 felt like a necessary evil: A way for Marvel to keep making funny money by letting Downey and Shane Black improvise comed...
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