Iron Man 3: How Bad Is Robert Downey Jr.’s Ankle Injury Really?

Robert Downey Jr. filming Iron Man 3

One of the biggest stories on entertainment websites this week was that Robert Downey Jr. injured his ankle while filming Iron Man 3. However, there has been surprisingly little information on the extent of the injury and how exactly it occurred.

It is known that Iron Man 3 was supposed to be filming at the Port of Wilmington in North Carolina starting on August 17, but the ankle injury is said to have occurred on Wednesday, August 15. Some reports have said that the injury occurred at the Port of Wilmington, so it’s possible Iron Man 3 started filming early at that location, but it is not known for sure. The Port of Wilmington shoot was supposed to include numerous action scenes, which would involve stunt work so it would make sense that the injury could have occurred at that location.

In their official release, Marvel Studios wouldn’t say anything beyond, “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.” Downey Jr.’s rep has reportedly confirmed to EW that the actor will be fine, but the rep didn’t provide any details on the extent of the injury and the length of the shooting delay.

Depending on which news report you believe, Robert Downey Jr.’s injury ranged from being a broken ankle to just being a twisted ankle. If Robert Downey Jr. actually broke his ankle, then it would likely be at least six weeks before it would be stable enough for him to continue filming. If Robert Downey Jr.’s ankle is just twisted or sprained, the recovery time could fluctuate greatly based on severity. It could range anywhere from a couple days to several weeks. Marvel’s statement that there will only be a short delay seems hopeful that the injury is not that bad. But given the number of entertainment reporters following Robert Downey Jr.’s every move, it’s very surprising that more information has not surfaced about how bad his ankle injury really is.

Also, the shoot that was being done at the Port of Willimgton required extensive approvals for Marvel Studios. According to a report on Star News Online, the film's employees had to apply for federal Transportation Worker Identification Credential cards so that crews could access the state port without an escort. The production was also going to have to work around the port’s shipping schedule. For Marvel Studios to delay this particular shoot indefinitely, one would think that Robert Downey Jr.’s injury could be worse than the studio is revealing.