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Kevin Feige Says Iron Man Can Live On Without Robert Downey Jr. & Continue Like James Bond Or Batman With New Actors

Kevin Feige Says Iron Man Can Live On Without Robert Downey Jr. & Continue Like James Bond Or Batman With New Actors

Very interesting. In light of last night’s potential negotiations impasse at Marvel Studios, are telling comments that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and the Big Kahuna (Marvel Head Kevin Feige) made to Entertainment Weekly in this past weekend’s cover story. In case you missed the brouhaha yesterday evening, it goes like this: Marvel is notoriously cheap with their salary offers to actors. This is how the company has always operated since they jumped into the feature film game in 2008 with the first “Iron Man.” But “The Avengers” was a billion dollar hit, “Iron Man 3” will soon be a billion dollar hit and the Marvel casts are still being paid lowball figures. With deals not in place for the upcoming 2015 tentpole, “The Avengers 2,” this could prove to be problematic for Marvel. The Avengers want to get paid.

Late last week, everyone was consumed with EW’s small, but new details on Marvel’s Phase 2 and 3 plans; films that include, “Ant-Man” (which will start casting in earnest at the end of the year) and “Guardians Of the Galaxy” (Marvel’s first foray into the galactic-sized outer space/science fiction realm). But tucked away at the end of the article are some pretty eye-opening comments about the future of the “Iron Man” franchise and beyond.

The crux of the negotiations argument is that Robert Downey Jr. is their flagship star, and he’s still comparatively under-compensated (though he was paid $50 million for “The Avengers,” the four films he has appeared in for Marvel have grossed $3.4 billion dollars together). This will be a big sticking point for Marvel who clearly thinks they are probably paying him enough. Anyhow, when asked about the future films starring Tony Stark, Kevin Feige says Marvel can live on without Robert Downey Jr.

“I believe there will be a fourth ‘Iron Man’ and a fifth, sixth and a 10th and a 20th,” he told EW. “I see no reason why Tony Stark can’t be as evergreen as James Bond, Batman, or for that matter, Spider-Man.”

Could he actually be much more like Dirty Harry or Indiana Jones? Franchise heroes actually only played by one actor so far? Gwyneth Paltrow seems to think so. “Personally I think it would be very hard for someone to step into Iron Man because it is so Robert,” she said. “You’ve got pathos, you’ve got humor, you’ve got a facility with language and improvisation and an incredible pain underneath it all. It’s difficult to replicate that.”

Downey’s take on it all? He knows he’ll have to let go and can’t be Iron Man forever. “I wasn’t involved in the planning of Marvel’s phases, and I’m sure they don’t end with me,” he admitted. “Probably one of my finest days of stewardship would be discussing the matter with whoever is cast to carry the torch. That’s what life is about.”

Can Tony Stark exist on the big screen without RDJ or vice versa? Let us know below.

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If no RDJ just kill Tony Stark off. I’m serious. Any other actor trying to fill RDJ’s shoes would fail miserably and it would harm their careers.




I am fully aware of how controversial my comments are going to sound but I believe Iron Man can survive without RDJ. Before you fire up your cannons at me, let me explain: the idea behind IM3 was that it was supposed to be dark. They completely butchered that and might as well have killed Kingsley for playing the Mandarin as they did. That's just an unforgivable sin, for once I would like to see Iron Man taken to a dark places. Thor 2 and C.A 2 both look awesome on account of the noire nature of the storytelling. The one thing that lies outside the reach of Mr RDJ is to get dark, the only dark roles I've seen him in were in Zodiac and US Marshals. Still waiting for a true dark side to Iron Man to be revealed. It's all a matter of getting the right actor. My personal candidate would be Ioan Gruffudd. If you see him as the dark, dangerous yet somehow charismatic Lancelot in King Arthur with Clive Owen, you will understand exactly what I mean.


I'm sorry but Iron Man would be better served at this point with a new Stark. I collected the books in the 70'–90s and I never remembered Stark as a constant peter parker-like quipster and smart-ass…as Downey plays him (or is written…I also don't remember him being an authority on all matters science). I like Downey..but have really had enough of him . Now that he has his real bank of cash maybe he can start doing smaller offbeat roles again.

Chris Evans

Iron Man can NOT live on without Robert Downey Jr. He IS Tony Stark.

Enough said.


Well goodbye Iron Man #4 #5 #10 #20 because I'm not watching another Iron Man movie that does not feature Mr. Robert Downey Jr, he MADE the character come to life and I just can't simply see anyone else with the iron man suit!!!


The problem is that Marvel Studios is notoriously stingy and cheap. Robert Downey pulls down big money and now that they have done The Avengers and are renegotiating, all the stars, rightfully so, feel they deserve more money. Marvel doesn't want to play ball and it's a difficult negotiation when they do. RDJ is the one real actor with power in this scenario and he used it to the advantage of the other actors during Avengers. Marvel is now looking to regain as much of the power in regards to their actors as possible. That's what this is about.

Kevin Feige seems like a hard working guy, but they need to treat their casts and crews well. The films all do well. Share the wealth.


SADLY it seems marvel is about to go down the same path as they did when they mistreated or ignored their artists and writers leading them to bankruptcy in their hubris.


You guys dont understand. Let me explane. Downey has made Tony his and you just cant replace that. They both are a little spazy and have a big ego or, Textbook narcissism or what ever. I just think that if they really decide to replace Robert it wont ever be the same. You cant James Bond Iron Man it just doesnt work. I mean look at the Tony Stark comic version then go look at Robert. THEY LOOK JUST ALIKE! Idiots like Kevin Feige just dont understand the reality that Robert has made Iron Man his. Just like Tony said in Iron Man 2, "The suit and I are one," its the same rule for the actor and the character. Robert and Tony are one. Sure I would understand that if in a few years when Robert is long gone from the business that they might remake or add on to the series but… to replace him in this day and age is just suicide for Marvel and it just cant be done. To me Tony is the lead role in the Avengers or just the super hero buisness. Sure he doesnt have any powers or super hero capabilitys but… he shows that if you really want to protect something, then its possible, super powers or not. Trust me I could go on all day why Marvel doesnt have the right to replace Robert yet. Just let me asure you, the fans like me (The die hard Iron Man fan girls, boys included) will refuse to see the movie with a diffrent person playing the lead role. I can guarentee that much. GOOD LUCK GETTING YOUR "HARD EARNED" MONEY WITH A DUMB REPLACEMENT LIKE COLON FARELL! And have a wonderfull day Marvel.

Hana B

but if they do replace RDJ, i will deffs NOT watch it! it would just NOT be the same without RDJ!!!

Kelly P

Not a chance. Downey IS Tony Stark. Sorry; the charisma he brings to the character is what makes him likeable. Tony Stark is an arrogant a-hole, but at least Downey makes him a LIKEABLE a-hole that people really have taken to. Like mentioned above, it's like trying to replace Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones—just…no. Or Dirty Harry. Downey's personality is what totally sells this character–he's the perfect amount of charm and snark that another actor wouldn't possess or be able to pull off convincingly. Everything about him, from the character, to the incomperable way he sells the movie in press junkets and various interviews, is pure genius. He genuinely has fun when he's doing promotional tours and it shows. People identify Tony Stark with Downey. Tony Stark isn't James Bond–you can't just thr0w anyone in that character and make it work. It sucks that Marvel feels that they can. If/when Downey stops being Tony Stark, they should just kill off the character.


AHAHAHA!!! yeah right


Nobody will want to play Tony Stark after RDJ, u kiddin' me? it is suicide, nobody has the charisma; whoever who will try will have the shadow of RDJ behind him.


They already made the Tony Stark character less interesting in IM3, which was more like a character reduced action movie than an Iron Man movie. The first and even the second had great and interesting character scenes. Ultimately anybody can be replaced – nobody is talking about Edward Norton anymore, and Mark Ruffalo faced huge resentment in the beginning – but with RDJ they loose not only a very charismatic actor, but also a hell of a promoting genius. One of the reasons fans like him is because he has a unique way of connecting with the fan base. He loves going out there and meet people and people feel that.


Marvel is smart to treat these movie characters like they do in the comics. Every few years a new creative team of artists and writers take over the book and give it a revamp; Iron Man gets a new armor, Tony has a slight change in facial hair and attitude, and old villains are made new. They keep everything that other artists and writers have created in the past and move forward, just like James Bond.

The problem lies with something like the new Spider-Man movies where it is a full reboot from the start with another origin story, and reintroducing characters the audience already knows.


To me if they don't stay true to the story and characters they have started for Iron man Robert Gwyneth and Cheadle the films won't work. The reason they are successful aren't just because of Robert(he's the biggest part) but of the way he plays off Pepper and Rhodey. Fans are invested in these characters and want to see what's next. They care about them and what happens. That's the special sauce as Robert put it in an iinterview and he is right. Fans love the characters and the actors that made them.


I think the best and perhaps only acceptable way of making RDJ exit the Iron Man franchise would be to kill off Tony Stark and have some other/new character take on the role of Iron Man. Similar to what Nolan did with The Dark Knight Rises. Otherwise, I feel bad for whoever is hired to play Tony Stark 2.0


That comment Kevin Feige made of there being up to 20 Iron Man movies made is one of the reasons why I can't stand him or the way Marvel is planning their movies. I realize that all Hollywood studios, at the end of the day, just want to make money off of these big tentpole releases, but few are quite as blatantly obvious about their greed as Marvel. I love the first Iron Man film and Thor was fun since it knew how ridiculous it all was, but I'm definitely feeling superhero fatigue at the moment. And there's only going to be more… and more. And more. And then some more after that.


The only other person I could imagine replacing RDJ is Sam Rockwell, but he was in Iron Man 2.


Iron Man is a suit. It could be warn by anyone. You don't have to replace the actor behind Tony Stark, you can also put the suit on another character and forget about Tony Stark.

"Insert Name Here"

Even if they find a replacement there will be no way he can top Downey Jr. He's right up there with Bale, Jackman, Stewart and Ledger among the few perfectly cast comic book roles. Whoever replaces him will be in Downey's shadow. Same problem goes for the joker.


I'm not convinced. Iron Man, as a character distinct from Downey, is not part of the public's cultural knowledge. Everybody knows Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Wolverine. But I don't think Iron Man is know in the same way. Most people were introduced to the mythology of Iron Man as Iron Man as played by Downey. We tend to be attached to our understandings of certain characters and Downey has really defined the character in the broader public consciousness. I think it would be hard for Marvel to just replace him.


Robert Downey made the perfect IronMan, Nolan and Bale did the perfect Batman… Unlike the Batman films where Nolan's where way better than Barton's (fanboys can have their opinions), it will be hard to top the ones with Downey (that is, it will be hard to get a better lead) cause Downey is the Perfect IronMan and the main reason the films resonate so much..!! Having said that, studios can make other IronMan films without Downey, but just like Batman, there should be quite some time in between, and the later films would have to go by another name (just like Batman became Dark Knight)


Sure, just slap the suit on Brendan Fraser. Awkkkkkkkkkkkkwarddddddddddddddd!


Inevitable even without the salary issues. A younger, more athletic Tony Stark can be introduced via Avengers 3. A decent actor w/ a good script & director will still make $$$$

Victor D

Like Adam West, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Michael Keaton, etc… any actor can be replaced and the franchise continue on.


How about Jake Gyllenhaal Iron Man? He's the closest one to being Downey-esque.

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