Joe and Anthony Russo delivered with ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and were entrusted with handling two of Marvel’s most high stakes films, the upcoming ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War – Part One’.  With ‘Civil War’, the Russos got to play with some of the Marvel toys they hadn’t yet, including Robert Downey Jr.‘s Iron Man, the hero that launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Anthony (right) and Joe Russo
Anthony (right) and Joe Russo

But one troublesome element about the Marvel Universe going forward is the aging cast and their expiring contracts.  Downey Jr. has already appeared in the three ‘Iron Man’ movies, both ‘Avengers’ and made a cameo in ‘The Incredible Hulk’.  He’s done.  He has no obligation to carry on making Marvel movies.  What does that mean for the future of Marvel?  Do they kill Tony Stark off?  Simply write him out of the upcoming movies?  Or, *gasp* recast?

It wouldn’t be the first time.  Most noticeably, Mark Ruffalo assumed the role of Bruce Banner/The Hulk after Edward Norton’s disappointing turn in the solo movie ‘The Incredible Hulk’.  Tony Stark’s right-hand man James Rhodes was recast in between ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Iron Man 2’ with Terrence Howard being replaced by Don Cheadle.  Fans were nonplussed.  Zachary Levi also took over the part of Fandral in the ‘Thor’ movies, when the original Fandral, Josh Dallas was unavailable for the second movie.

But those roles, even The Hulk, isn’t as important in the greater Marvel landscape as Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark.  Can any other actor match the charm and charisma of RDJ?

Joe Russo offered his take on the possibility:

“I think if and when he is done with the character, I think you will find that Iron Man might disappear for a while. I think the only way that you could reboot that character is to give a generational gap that would allow another actor to at least have a chance to redefine that character without the enormous spectre of Robert hanging over it. There are so many characters in the Marvel universe that can pick up the ball and run with it through the next phase or two before you need to see Iron Man again, frankly.”

Does this mean ‘Infinity War’ will be waged without Iron Man?  It may, but there are plenty of heroes that could fill the void in the meantime, possibly even Rhodey himself, as War Machine.  (IF he survives ‘Civil War’.)

More news should arrive once ‘Civil War’ arrives and we have a better idea of what to expect from the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  In the meantime, we can always hope that RDJ just feels like making more Marvel movies just for the hell of it.  (He certainly doesn’t need the money.)

Is there anyone you could see taking over the role of Tony Stark?  Or should he just be retired?

Source: Cinema Blend