Robert Downey Jr injures ankle while shooting stunt for ‘Iron Man 3’

Production on the superhero sequel will be delayed while the actor recovers

Robert Downey Jr has injured his ankle on the set of Iron Man 3.

The actor sustained the injury while shooting a stunt for the superhero sequel. The injury is not believed to be serious, but Marvel Studios have postponed production on the movie to give Downey Jr, 47, time to recover.

A brief statement from Marvel Studios explained: “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.”

Iron Man 3 began shooting in North Carolina this June (2012). It will be Downey Jr’s fourth outing as Tony Stark, a billionaire inventor who creates a powered suit of armour and turns himself into a superhero. The actor previously appeared as Stark in 2008’s Iron Man, 2010’s Iron Man 2 and 2012’s The Avengers.

Both previous Iron Man movies were directed by Jon Favreau, but the new sequel is being helmed by Shane Black, best known for his screenwriting work on Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout. Black co-penned the script for Iron Man 3 with British TV writer Drew Pearce, while Favreau is still involved as one of the movie’s producers.

Ben Kingsley will co-star as Iron Man’s nemesis, The Mandarin, while Guy Pearce will appear as another villain. Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle will both reprise their roles from previous Iron Man movies, but Scarlett Johansson, who appears as the infamous Black Widow in Iron Man 2 and The Avengers, is not returning this time. Iron Man is scheduled to open in cinemas in May 2013.