When Robert Downey Jr. was losing his battle with drug addiction and ended up in prison, one many would not turn his back on his friend. Mel Gibson stuck with Downey every step of the way. Now that Gibson’s career looks like it may somehow survive his racist and anti-Semitic rants from a few years ago, Downey wants to return the favor. Downey made it clear at the start of the year that he wants Marvel to allow Gibson to join the family, and when Deadline asked if he would star in Iron Man 4 if Gibson directed it, Downey said “Why not? That movie would be bananas.”

Now, that is a throwaway line, but here is where the facts of the matter come into play. If Marvel wants Robert Downey Jr. to return for more movies after Avengers: Age of Ultron, it will take one of two things (or both). It will take another monster payday and it will take Marvel giving Downey what he wants when it comes to material to work with and quality filmmakers.

When Marvel signed Downey to return after The Avengers, they paid him $50 million. They also agreed to sign Shane Black to direct Iron Man 3. When Downey got out of prison, he needed work. Mel Gibson was one of the people who hired him. However, the one that really helped launch Downey’s comeback was Shane Black with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Iron Man 3 was Downew returning the favor and what resulted was one of Marvel’s best movies (critics be damned).

It is not unreal to think that Downey won’t go the same for Mel Gibson. Here is something Downey said about Gibson helping him many years ago.

“Unless you are without sin – and if you are, you are in the wrong fucking industry, you should forgive him and let him work… This is my fuckin’ time. Mel and I have the same lawyer, same publicist and same shrink. I couldn’t get hired and he cast me. He said if I accepted responsibility – he called it hugging the cactus – long enough, my life would take meaning. And if he helped me, I would help the next guy. But it was not reasonable to assume the next guy would be him.”

As for me, I would love to see Mel Gibson direct Iron Man 4. More than that, I would love to see Mel Gibson join the Marvel family as an actor, playing one of the major bad guys in the Marvel Universe. I don’t care which one, just one that will be around for more than one movie. What are your thoughts? Would Mel Gibson be a good fit for the Marvel Universe? Let us know in the comment section below.