'Iron Man 4' plot spoilers, cast news: Ty Simpkins to replace Robert Downey Jr?

Ty Simpkins and Robert Downey Jr. sharing a scene together.

Marvel has long confirmed that actor Robert Downey Jr.'s contract was extended so his character Tony Stark could appear in "Avengers: Infinity War," plus, more recently, in "Captain America: Civil War." However, there was no sign he would be in any Marvel film post-Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thus crushing fans' hopes of seeing him as Iron Man after 2019. This has led to rumors that Ty Simpkins may take over the titular role. 

Simpkins, 13, already made an appearance as Harley Keener in 2013's "Iron Man 3." Information initially reported by website Bam Smack Pow indicates that the young actor may take over the reins and play as the metal-clad superhero in "Iron Man 4." If the rumors are true, then Simpkins would be 17 or 18 years old by the time production begins. 

Simpkins previously appeared in "Insidious" and its sequel, "Little Children," and in "Pride and Glory." He will also play a role in this year's "Jurassic World," the fourth main entry in the "Jurassic Park" franchise. 

Back in October 2014, RDJ confirmed then denied that there were concrete plans for "Iron Man 4." However, RDJ would definitely be making an appearance in several films after "Iron Man 3," which so far include "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Captain America: Civil War," and "Avengers: Infinity War."  

If Downey walks away after these films, then Marvel may re-cast Tony Stark with a different actor or go the opposite direction and introduce a new character to take on the mantle of Iron Man. If they go with a younger actor who could star in several films, then Ty Simpkins, many reckon, would fit the bill. 

While Marvel films may push for a 2019 release date following "Inhumans," the last film in Phase 3, RDJ stated that there was no drafted screenplay, casting, or director for the project. As of now, neither Marvel nor Ty Simpkins has confirmed or denied the rumors.