Is Marvel ready to put a new actor in the Iron Man suit?

The time will come, true believers, when Robert Downey Jr. decides he's done strapping himself into Ol' Shellhead's armor—or he'll ask for too much to play billionaire superhero Tony Stark. How will Iron Man carry on after the actor who launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe bids his farewell?

No matter how lucrative the franchise, no actor stays locked in forever: We've seen new Bonds and new Batmen, and later this year we're getting a new Bourne and a new Spidey (okay, maybe Stallone is the exception to the rule; he seems intent on taking Rocky and Rambo to his grave). And the upcoming Iron Man 3 will be, counting The Avengers, Downey's fourth film as Tony Stark. At some point, he'll hop off this particular gravy train and onto something different. Kevin Feige, the architect of Marvel's movie plan, thinks the studio will simply carry on.

"I think Bond is a good example. Let's put it this way: I hope Downey makes a lot of movies for us as Stark. If and when he doesn't, and I'm still here making these movies, we don't take him to Afghanistan and have him wounded again. I think we James Bond it."

Meaning that they don't reboot it, they don't kill off Tony Stark, they just cast another actor—never addressing the change—and just keep on making movies.

Which, of course, begs the question: Given how phenomenally successful Downey was as Tony Stark, who can fill his shoes? Who would you cast as the new Iron Man?

(Via Badass Digest)

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