Iron Man 4: Downey May Sign On If Mel Gibson Directs

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Robert Downey Jr. is a man who has lived off of second chances. After multiple arrests and several stints in rehab, the 49-year-old actor finally pulled himself together to become not only one of the most revered artists working in film today but also the highest paid actor in Hollywood. He reportedly earned $50 million for his role in the film The Avengers, even though the movie featured an ensemble cast filled with big name movie stars.

It's clear that Downey wants to give his friend Mel Gibson the opportunity to enjoy one of the many second chances that were given to him. There are currently no plans for a fourth Iron Man. However, Downey is contractually obligated to appear as Iron Man in the upcoming The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers 3 movies.

The financial bottom line is going to be a big deciding factor on whether Downey straps on the Iron Man suit again. However, Shane Black, who directed Iron Man 3, thinks that Downey could be swayed to play Tony Stark once again if Mel Gibson was given the opportunity to direct Iron Man 4.

Remember Mel Gibson? He was one the biggest movie stars in the 80s and 90s. He also won an Academy Award for directing Braveheart in 1995. However, a drunken arrest coupled with a well-publicized anti-Semitic and sexist tirade, combined with a rage-filled alcohol-fueled recording left on his girlfriend's answering machine and leaked for the whole world to hear, has put the the 58-year-old actor on the outs with both the Hollywood crowd and the fans who used to adore him.

So would Downey make another Iron Man with Gibson at the helm? The actor was asked during a recent interview, "Marvel badly wants Iron Man 4 and you've said you aren't doing it. How about the idea you'll do that movie if Mel directs it?" Downey responded, "Why not? That movie would be bananas."

Downey recently spoke of Gibson to Deadline, "Nobody should make a case for somebody who just wants forgiveness but hasn’t changed, but he’s a fundamentally different guy. I think it was just the very worst aspects of somebody’s psyche being treated as though they were the blanket statement about a person."

It's been reported that when Downey was at rock bottom, Gibson was there to help. "Unless you are without sin — and if you are, you are in the wrong [expletive] industry — you should forgive him and let him work … This is my [expletive] time," Downey said about Gibson during his acceptance speech for The American Cinematheque Award. "Mel and I have the same lawyer, same publicist and same shrink. I couldn't get hired and he cast me. He said that if I accepted responsibility—he called it hugging the cactus—long enough, my life would take meaning," Downey continued. "And if he helped me, I would help the next guy. But it was not reasonable to assume the next guy would be him."

If it's true and Downey would commit to another Iron Man with Gibson as director, Disney and Marvel would have a hard time turning down the deal. According to Box Office Mojo, the three Iron Man movies have combined to make over $2.4 billion worldwide.

What do you think? Does Mel Gibson deserve a second chance?