As the Marvel Cinematic Universe progresses further and further into its step-by-step plan of movie-watching domination, it’s easy to forget how far the franchise really has come, or where it’s humble beginnings lie.While the MCU technically kicked things off with its first movie being ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ most fans (and Marvel themselves, most likely) consider the real beginning to have come with the first ‘Iron Man’ film, and its success was due in no small part to the charismatic portrayal of the lead character, “genius billionaire playboy philanthropist” Tony Stark, by Robert Downey, Jr. That first film came out in 2008, and as time ticks slowly onward, questions are inevitably raised about how long one actor can continue to portray the same role.
Although cooler heads have since prevailed, there was a point a few years back where RDJ expressed the sentiment that he wasn’t interested in portraying Iron Man on screen for much longer. He’s locked in for at least three more films as we currently understand it: the upcoming ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ a role of as-of-yet-unannounced scope in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming,’ and ‘The Avengers: Infinity War’ two-parter that is currently scheduled to wrap up Phase Three of the MCU.
Jon Favreau, who has worked as an Executive Producer on most of the recent Marvel films after having directed ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Iron Man 2,’ recently weighed in on his thoughts about RDJ and the future of the Iron Man character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of a potential recasting once Downey, Jr. decides to hang up the red-and-gold suit, Favreau said:
“I can’t imagine how they could, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t. I just can’t wrap my head around that one. To me, he’s the one element that has unified all of it, and I think kept a consistent tone, and the integrity of his acting ability and his talent really works wonderfully synergistically with the Marvel universe. I think that his personality is something which helps define it. That being said, nothing would surprise me, but for me it would be a hard pill to swallow and big shoes to fill.”
Time will tell, of course, but for now audiences will enjoy the opportunity to see Downey, Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark for the next few years, at least. After that? Well, as the comic-book world has shown, no character is truly safe from death, rebirth, or rebooting.
When looking for his first job as a fresh-faced 16-year-old, Tony stumbled through the mall and ended up in front of the local comic book shop – and he never looked back. A lover of most things sci-fi and horror, Tony is an author by day and a DJ by night. Come hang out with Tony on Facebook and Twitter to hear him spew semi-funny nonsense and get your opportunity to finally put him in his place.