As the Marvel Cinematic Universe ramps up the stakes and adds many more new characters, the logistics behind the scenes are getting increasingly challenging. With Captain America: Civil War, directors Anthony and Joe Russo, having taken on the ambitious task of uniting both recognizable and unfamiliar heroes, only to break them apart in an all-out brawl.
One of the challenges that Civil War avoided was the worry of securing any of the major celebrities in starring roles. Sadly, they won't always be in a position to secure these stars, so what would happen if the actors are AWOL when the even more-ambitious Avengers: Infinity War comes around?
In a recent interview with Forbes, the Russo brothers confront the question of recasting.
The Directors Admit There Could Essentially Be No Iron Man Without Robert Downey Jr.
According to the brothers behind Civil War, they would simply send Iron Man away for a while if they couldn't secure RDJ:
"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."
That certainly makes sense from the perspective of continuity. All of the Marvel movies have excelled in creating one cohesive narrative, so it wouldn't make too much sense to swap out such a key figure (although, they had no qualms about doing that to a supporting character like Rhodey).
It seems like RDJ's Tony Stark is safely his for now.
However, They Did Come Up With One Creative Solution
When rationalizing how they could portray the character without the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, the Russo brothers did manage to devise one possible strategy:
"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."
Clearly, they aren't too attached to the idea of an older/younger Tony, which only opens the door for more off the beaten path adaptations for years to come. Plus, RDJ can retain bragging rights.
Would the MCU be the same without Iron Man?