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Robert Downey Jr. injures ankle on 'Iron Man 3' set

Matt Sayles / AP file

Robert Downey Jr. attends the press line for "Iron Man 3" during Comic-Con, Saturday, July 14, 2012, in San Diego.

Many people forget that the usually spry Robert Downey Jr. is actually 47-years-old.  And no matter how physically fit you are, getting through stunt scenes in an action movie doesn't get easier with old age. So, it was only a matter of time, perhaps, before Downey Jr. succumbed to laws of man and injured himself while playing Tony Stark, aka Iron Man.

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Downey Jr. injured his ankle Wednesday on the set of "Iron Man 3," causing the production to halt shooting until he's healthy enough to don Iron Man's gold and crimson armor again. 

In a statement, Marvel Studios said, "Robert Downey Jr. sustained an ankle injury on the set of 'Iron Man 3' in Wilmington, N.C., while performing a stunt. There will be a short delay in the production schedule while he recuperates."

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Neither the studio nor Disney revealed when they expect the film to be back up and running, but the picture's May 3, 2013, release isn't expected to be affected at this time.

"Iron Man 3" has been shooting in North Carolina since June. The third installment in the "Iron Man" franchise is under the direction of Shane Black based on a screenplay by Black and Drew Pearce.

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