ByWill Wharton, writer at Creators.co
Creative Director
Will Wharton

As the credits rolled over the end of the orgasmic metal fetish video that was Iron Man 3, they proudly proclaimed: Tony Stark Will Return. It filled us with more than a dash of hope that recent rumors about RDJ giving up the suit were total Aldrich Killain-style nasty propaganda. However, it seems that more fuel has been added to this potentially controversial fire as Deadline recently revealed that behind the scenes at Marvel, all is not well.

With Thor: The Dark World star Chris Huntsworth confirmed to be demanding a larger salery it was only a matter of time before we got wind of Downey JR attempting to cash in the success of America's favorite Avenger. And why shouldn't he? At the time of writing Iron Man 3 has grossed over $768 Mil and that's largely down to RDJ's addictive star power.

Just look at him:

Downey very publicly attempted to make The Avengers more about Tony Stark, and Joss Whedon choosing to ignore him was the best thing that could have happened for the movie. Couple that with Iron Man 3's success and Downey is going to be coming from the same angle when it comes to renegotiations, i.e. thinking he’s irreplacabele.

On a worrying note, according to the head honcho… he’s not. Of course he will be replaced, look at The Hulk and War Machine. Marvel has no problems with doing this and Kevin Feige agrees:

I think Bond is a good example. Lets 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 dont take him to Afghanistan and have him wounded again. I think we James Bond it.

Eeep. That means if they follow the Bond model of recasting, we could be sat here discussing who our favorite Iron Man is in 20 years time.

While it does sound like a horrifying prospect, I’ve thought about it and maybe it’s not. It would be WAY worse if Marvel rebooted, and as Feige says, shows the origin story again. (Cough, looking at you, Spidey). Maybe this news opens up the age old casting debate and begs the question: Who will our next Iron Man be?

Here are my top 5 picks!

James Franco

I love Franco, and I know he’s a bit preoccupied with comedy right now, but I really think he has the chops. He has the emotional depth. I mean, look at him sawing his OWN ARM OFF! It doesn’t get more dramatic than that. He’s also a charming devil and can pull off the glitter and glamour that Tony must have. A solid choice.

Michael Fassbender

He may not be Robocop, but damn if we’ll get him in a metal suit one day. Wunderkind Fassbender, who is seemingly up for every role, also has the charm to pull off a Tony Stark. A bit of black dye in his hair and a snazzy goatee on his chin, and we’d be on our way. He’s proven that he has the super-heroics to lift a super-franchise like X-Men. Fassbender would be a great choice.

Bradley Cooper

Here’s another charmer, perfectly fitting in with the more luxurious elements of Tony Stark’s life: Cooper was born to wear a suit with a girl on each arm. As for action? Well he’s proven that he can handle a gun in The A-Team, and he’s great at running in Limitless. A box-office-smart choice.

Luke Evans

A risky one, as Evans’ star hasn’t completely risen yet. Hear me out, though. Evans manages the mesmerize easily, having swashbuckled his way through a futuristic Musketeers. That movie gave him a good action background. Coupled with the fact that he’s playing the human hero in The Hobbit this Christmas, Evans could be the man for the job.

Jon Hamm

Looks, wit, a brawny chin, comedy, acting and everything else. Hamm is the whole package. Maybe a little too clean-cut for Tony Stark, but nevertheless a solid choice. We’ve seen him scruff it up with his mega-beard in pap shots, and we know how good he looks in a suit thanks to Don Draper. As for action? Check out Hamm in Ben Affleck’s The Town: the man can handle a rifle.

That’s it! What do you think? Disagree? Agree? Who would you pick? And who do you think Marvel will pick?

Let the speculation begin!

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