Robert Downey Jr injury halts Iron Man 3 production

August 16th, 2012

An injury to Robert Downey Jr. has temporarily halted production of 'Iron Man 3'.

The 47-year-old actor - who portrays Tony Stark/Iron Man in the franchise - suffered an ankle injury while filming a stunt on set in North Carolina yesterday (15.08.12), and Marvel Studios has confirmed there will now be a ''short delay'' while he returns to full fitness.

The studio said in a statement: ''Robert Downey Jr. sustained an ankle injury on the set of 'Iron Man 3' in Wilmington, North Carolina while performing a stunt. There will be a short delay in the production schedule while he recuperates.''

Neither Disney nor Marvel have revealed when they hope the movie's production will begin again, but its May 3, 2013 release date seems to still be on track.

Robert is to reprise his role as the superhero for the fourth time in the forthcoming film after starring as the titular character in the first two movies in the franchise and he also portrayed Iron Man in 'Avengers Assemble' earlier this year.

Gwyneth Paltrow is to return to 'Iron Man 3' as Virginia ''Pepper'' Potts, while Sir Ben Kingsley will play the movie's main villain The Mandarin and Don Cheadle will play James Rhodes/War Machine.

Robert recently revealed there will be more sides to his character in the forthcoming film, and he is hoping director Shane Black - who helmed 2005 crime/comedy 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' - takes inspiration from his previous work.

He explained: ''Interestingly enough, this film has a lot of breadth to it. We realised, at the beginning of 'Iron Man 2', Tony was dying, and then he had a party, and then he was drunk, and some people were going, 'We don't like him!'

''If you look to the history of the films that Shane has written and directed, there's a real desire for me, just as someone who loves the movies, to harken back to some of those themes, and they will occur in 'Iron Man 3'.''