Robert Downey Jr. injures ankle, delays Iron Man 3

By Lucas Shaw -¬†NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) – Robert Downey Jr. injured his ankle on the set of “Iron Man 3” Tuesday, halting production for the time being, according to Disney.

The film has been in production since late May, and director Shane Black said at Comic-Con in July that they were about halfway through.

Disney issued the following statement about the 47-year-old actor’s injury:

“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.”

The Marvel Studios film, which Disney will distribute, is slated to debut May 3, 2013. The statement suggests the injury to Downey, the film’s beating heart, will not change that.

“Iron Man 3″ is the next installment in one of the film industry’s most lucrative franchises, as the first two films, directed by Jon Favreau, grossed roughly $1.2 billion at the global box office.

Though this may be the final “Iron Man” film for Downey Jr., he should return for “The Avengers 2,” which Joss Whedon has signed on to write and direct.

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