Posted by Tom Chapman @tchapman
tweet: tomtomchap Warden of the North - bearded, tattooed and square eyed 'til the end
Tom Chapman

There are some parts that people are just born to play, from Hugh Jackman as #Wolverine, #RobertDowneyJr., and... Bob Hoskins as Super Mario. However, with #superhero franchises being overhauled and rebooted left right and center, the casting/recasting of superheroes is a dangerous game. Many people will have seen three Spider-Men, two Prof. Xs, and five Bruce Waynes in their lifetime. You know who the best is; nobody beats RDJ as #IronMan. He is literally the coolest, watch him deliver a bionic Iron Man arm to a 7-year-old boy with a partially developed limb:

Also, when #StanLee says you are good at your job, that is like the ultimate pat on the back from a loving grandpa. Appearing at Rhode Island Comic Con, the grandfather of #comics couldn't sing Downey Jr.'s praises enough, seemingly implying that no one could replace the wisecracking lothario of #TheAvengers:

“That man was born to be Iron Man, you know? He’d be on the top of the list. But, I have to say: whoever does the casting for Marvel is a genius. For instance, I can’t picture anyone being better than Thor. Captain America? You couldn’t beat him.”

There is no denying that Robert Downey Jr. can sure rock the gold and red Iron Man suit, but what happens when he finally hangs up J.A.R.V.I.S. for a retirement with Pepper? Especially given that Downey Jr.'s contract is currently movie to movie, this comes with the inevitable news that someday soon we are going to see some face changes in the #MCU roster.

See also:

The Fall Of The Iron Curtain

Image: Paramount Pictures
Image: Paramount Pictures

All good things must come to an end, and let's be honest, replacing Robert Downy Jr. is not a task anyone wants to take on. It seems that Joe Russo has already been dreading the changing of the guard for The Golden Avenger:

“It’s almost impossible to replace Robert, he’s the biggest movie star in the world. One close up from Robert is worth another actor’s entire performance, he’s incredibly gifted and insanely talented. 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 without it through the next phase or two before you need to see Iron Man again, frankly.”

Stan Lee is well-known for his praise of Marvel's casting - he does also say that he hopes the likes of Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evan never leave their roles, but we get the feeling RDJ is his favorite. In the past Downey Jr. has been commended for his likeness to the comic book iteration of Tony Stark, and it is easy to see how comfortably he slips into the persona.

Right Place Right Time

Image: Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

It is amazing that Downey Jr. has turned his life around from his *erm* past indiscretions to become Hollywood's leading man. When cast as Iron Man back in early 2007, many said he wasn't the right man for the role, but it is a story we have seen time and time again *cough* Batfleck *cough*.

Since Iron Man in 2008, Downey Jr. has gone on to become synonymous with the part, and what makes Downey Jr. even cooler is that he seems so down to Earth in his role too. It is no secret that Stan Lee loves his cameos and time on the MCU sets, so the 93-year-old told a great anecdote with a nickname that is sure to stick for Downey Jr.:

"I’ll tell you something about him. The other day, I walked up to him the other day and said, ‘You know, everyone calls you Robert because your name is Robert. Do they ever call you Bob?’ He said, ‘Oh, I don’t care. They [can] call me Bob or Rob or Bobby or Boo-Boo.’”

With Jackman departing his most iconic role next year, it brings the thought of Downey Jr.'s departure ever closer. Just like time traveling celebrities forging their own fate, maybe Downey Jr. was always destined to play the billionaire playboy, but, what will Marvel do next? Is it time to put Iron Man out to pasture and let young go-getters like Spider-Man enter the fray, or could they go down the comic book route and replace Tony Stark with his female counterpart Riri Williams?

Check out the full RDJ swagger in Iron Man 2's donut scene, and don't forget our poll below!

Poll

What should we do when Robert Downey Jr. leaves Iron Man?

[Source: Comicbook.com Forbes]