It is a well known fact that Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man contract will be up after the next two Avengers movies. And, while he recently hinted that he might be interested in doing [Iron Man 4](movie:886190), he soon turns 50, and surely cannot continue in the role forever.
And when Robert Downey Jr departs from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you would imagine that Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts will also be "conscious uncoupling" from the franchise.
So who can replace this pair as the first couple in the Marvel Universe? Let's run through some of the options:
Colin Farrell and Olga Kurylenko
He is the most fans number one choice to take over as Tony Stark for Iron Man 4. About 10 years younger than Robert Downey Jr, he could well be the man to guide Iron Man through the next Phase of the Marvel Universe.
Olga Kurylenko, meanwhile, was considered for Wonder Woman and appeared in the 2008 James Bond movie Quantum of Solace, proving that she can old her own when paired up against a leading man. She is also 34 years old, making her a good fit for Farrell.
On a side note, this would not be the first time Farrell and Kurylenko have appeared together on screen. They both starred in Seven Psychopaths, and so would already have a working relationship.
James Franco and Emma Stone
James Franco certainly shares some of the qualities of Tony Stark; both men are arrogant, rich, self-proclaimed geniuses. However, James Franco is only two years younger than Colin Farrell, he doesn't have the same stature, which could count against him when it comes to playing the elder statesman of The Avengers that is Tony Stark.
Emma Stone, meanwhile, was extremely popular as Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man franchise. In that movie, she had the exact combination of teasing, tolerance and affection for her superhero partner that makes the Iron Man / Pepper Potts relationship so enduring. In fact, she might even be the number one choice for the role, were it not for her, at 25, seeming a little young for Farrell.
Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes
This pairing might seem a bit of a curve ball, but Ryan Gosling could prove bring a new spin to Iron Man. And he is currently working with the Iron Man 3 director Shane Black in "The Nice Guys".
Ryan Gosling's most celebrated performance to date was in 2011's Drive, where he played a sympathetic seeming stunt driver with a violent streak. Given that Tony Stark and Iron Man may be set for more antagonistic roles in upcoming Marvel story lines (such as The Avengers Civil War) Gosling could be the right man for the job.
And if you went with Gosling, the role of Pepper Potts would surely need to be given to Eva Mendes. The pair are currently having a child together, after striking up a relationship following their work on [The Place Beyond The Pines](movie:208786).
So which of these pairs (or a combination of them) would you most like to see take the roles of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts for Iron Man 4? Write in with your thoughts below the line!