Posted by Ricky Derisz @rickyd90
Staff Writer at MP. "Holy cow, Rick! I didn't know hanging out with you was making me smarter!"
Ricky Derisz

Robert Downey Jr. is part of the #Marvel furniture, if furniture was made of gold titanium, could fly, made witty quips every couple of minutes and rocked awesome facial hair. Poor metaphors aside, the Hollywood A-lister has been at the forefront of the rise of the MCU, so much so it's difficult to imagine a shared universe without him.

But like a favorite sofa, or a dilapidated dressing table with one leg shorter than the others, sometimes furniture needs to be refurbished. Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige was asked by the Toronto Sun if, when the time comes, he'd consider a bespoke antique replacement depicting Stark at an older age, or shop for something more modern at the superhero equivalent to IKEA.

He responded "it could be either one" before adding:

"I think most of these characters that are iconic, like (James) Bond, like Batman, like Spider-Man, like Iron Man, someday will be portrayed by different actors. The good news right now is I don’t have to think about that for a long time. We have storylines for this cast for many years to come."

Is Doctor Strange Stepping Into Stark's Shoes?

RDJ's Iron Man has been at the center of the MCU [Credit: Disney]
RDJ's Iron Man has been at the center of the MCU [Credit: Disney]

It seems like Feige is suggesting that a new #IronMan is inevitable, eventually, because the #MCU is going to go on. Forever. Thank your lucky stars you weren't born at the time of Iron Man 240, when the MCU is 1,000 movies deep and only those of a certain age know what's going on.

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But long before the prospect of another actor stepping into the Iron suit, the MCU may look to a different superhero to fulfil #TonyStark's role. Feige discussed how, during the early days of Marvel Studios, Iron Man was very much the main focus, while producing an #Avengers movie was the ultimate dream.

The MCU has gone mystic [Credit: Disney]
The MCU has gone mystic [Credit: Disney]

Once the seemingly unattainable was achieved and the MCU was established as one of the biggest movie franchises in the world, attention switched to which characters could pick up the baton and keep the shared universe at the top of its game. The answer? Doctor Strange. Feige added:

"He [Doctor Strange] was number one among the characters we wanted to bring forth because he’s so unique, because he’s so different and important on that original pantheon of Marvel characters."

With the weight of the MCU on #DoctorStrange's shoulders, getting the casting right was absolutely essential. But what Marvel wants, Marvel gets, and after identifying Benedict Cumberbatch as the "perfect" actor for the role, Feige says he was happy to mould production around the film's star. He said:

"If you see in your mind’s eye the best version of a movie and if you see a road to get to that best version of a movie, it’s best to not let reality get in the way of achieving that."

Cumberbatch Is The Perfect Replacement

Doctor Strange is set to have a big impact [Credit: Disney]
Doctor Strange is set to have a big impact [Credit: Disney]

Now #BenedictCumberbatch's debut has been majestically released into the public sphere to an overwhelmingly positive reaction from critics, as well as a box office total to date of $325.3 million, Feige can put his feet up in the knowledge that, for the foreseeable future, the MCU is in safe hands.

Doctor Strange has taken opened up a portal to a new dimension, both metaphorically and literally. As well as making the superhero landscape even grander, more mystical and visually stunning, the film has also introduced a character who is insanely powerful and worthy of the eventual title of Sorcerer Supreme.

Pinpointing Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange as a character worthy of entering the feng shui of the MCU is looking like a good choice. Aside from his ability with the mystic arts, Cumberbatch delivers a similar mix of arrogant yet likeable charm and sardonic delivery as RDJ himself — it's not hard to see why Marvel waited patiently to get their man.

While the pair — dubbed "awesome facial hair bros" by Stark in the comics — share many similarities, Strange is separate and unique enough to take the accumulative superhero story in a different direction. Iron Man may eventually be recast, but until then, the MCU already has a worthy successor.

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Is Doctor Strange a worthy successor to Iron Man?

(Source: Toronto Sun)