Robert Downey Jr. on Iron Man Potentially Being Recast After ‘The Avengers 2′

Published 2 years ago by

iron man3 Robert Downey Jr. on Iron Man Potentially Being Recast After The Avengers 2

Robert Downey Jr. has become synonymous with Marvel hero Iron Man (A.K.A. Tony Stark) ever since the character’s first big screen appearance in 2008. The hero has since evolved into the most bankable and recognizable character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, Downey’s contract with Marvel Studios expires after the upcoming Iron Man 3, leaving his continued involvement in the role up in the air.

Previously, Downey said that he would be hesitant to turn his back on the character. Of course, that statement was predicated on the continued high quality and warm audience reception to Marvel’s cinematic efforts, and after The Avengers, audience goodwill is surely at an all-time high for the studio’s second slate of films.

Now, in an interview with Empire (via Comic Book Movie), Downey has again responded to the possibility that he may eventually hang up his metallic hat:

“Let’s just say that the only thing I ever let go of had claw marks in it. There’s a little bit of soul reclamation going on. I feel that the first time I played Tony, I did it best. Sorry! The affinity with Tony now is: How do you sustain something? I’m not stupid, I like to play ball, I love the company, I love the character, and the business side of things, I’m not too picky about that either.”

Funny that Downey should mention the business side of things. The billion-dollar success of The Avengers gives him tremendous leverage in renegotiating his contract, should he choose to do so. However, he does seem far more at ease with the idea of letting someone else step into Stark’s shoes than in previous comments.

“[Recasting] would probably be the best thing in the world for me. You know, ego…but sometimes ego just has to be smashed. Let’s see what happens. I take the audience very seriously – I feel bad when I see folks doing movies and the audience is like, ‘Don’t do that anymore.’ I don’t have to overstay my welcome…”

iron man 32 570x356 Robert Downey Jr. on Iron Man Potentially Being Recast After The Avengers 2

If the actor bows out, Marvel would likely go the recasting route as the studio seems intent on keeping Stark around for a good long while (or at least through The Avengers 2). Kevin Feige had this to say about the character’s involvement in Phase Two:

“Tony’s going to carry on. ‘Avengers 2′ already has a release date!”

Audiences have thus far responded overwhelmingly well to Downey’s take on Tony Stark, and it could be argued that the actor is largely responsible for the success of Iron Man. So it’s largely in Marvel’s best interest to keep him onboard for as long as possible. We expect Downey to at least appear throughout Phase Two (potentially helping to kick off the cosmic side of things in Guardians of the Galaxy).

However, if he does decide to part ways with Marvel, who would you like to see step into the role? Let us know in the comments.

Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black, from his and Drew Pearce’s screenplay. It stars Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall, William Sadler, James Badge Dale and the voice of Paul Bettany.

Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins when Iron Man 3 releases May 3rd, 2013, followed by Thor: The Dark World on November 8th, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4th, 2014, and Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1st, 2014. It concludes with The Avengers 2 on May 1st, 2015.


Source: Empire [via Comic Book Movie]

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @crookedtable
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  1. I think Rob Lowe would be a good pick. Their ages, look, and wit are very similar and that could help with a different casting transition.

    • That guy can only speak out of one side of his mouth. It’s terribly distracting. Sorry for his condition but we don’t need a Tony Stark with half-mouth paralysis.

    • He practically is Tony Stark in real life. His story isn’t drastically different than Tony’s. Substitute inventor with actor and the rest is pretty much the same.

      • Robert Downy Sr helped defeat the Nazis?

        • I think that was his grandfather

        • I think that was his grandfather.

          • I know it was his dad.

  2. Robert Downey Jr. may very well be the hardest super hero to replace. He can be both serious and comedic. It’s hard to find someone who can be as big of a scene stealer as he has been. If I think of any other superhero I can come up with two or three names for each.. but for Iron Man. Nope. Its going to be very tough to do.

  3. If he hangs up the iron suit, I am done with everything. In my opinion, RDJ is the stitch of the MCU. He is what holds it together so nicely. It would be tragic to see him go.

    • My thoughts exactly sir. Long live Iron Man and RDJ.

    • Keep him forever? So you are content with a 70 year old Iron Man?

      • Read Earth X, Stark, at the age of 70, is a reclusive agoraphobe. Then It turns out that his armor and weapons manufacturing facilities are actually a giant mech suit that he has been building for decades, that he then uses to go into space and fight giant planet sized aliens. It is freaking awesome. If that’s were a 70 year old RDJ takes us I’m ok with that.

      • Yea, I’m good with that.

  4. I’ve said this in a few articles today but….

    * Pressure gets to Tony by the end of Avengers 2

    * Stark becomes an alcoholic and is ordered off the team

    * Downey Jr gets a well deserved break from playing Iron Man while Phase 3 goes on without him

    * Stark returns with the possibility of briefly exploring his recovery from alcoholism (so Marvel and Disney don’t upset the types who would be up in arms about a “children’s character” shown consuming alcohol throughout the entire movie)

    • I like this idea. I like it very much.

  5. James Roday. He’s younger than Downey, but that could be a good thing. He continues Marvel’s trend of bringing in actors sort of on the cusp of making it. His work on Psych gives him a lot of experience with a superhero-y thing, especially with Tony’s mix of brilliance and banter. The scene on the Helicarrier where Tony explained everything and then pointed out the SHIELD agent playing Galaga? Classic Psych.

    • as much as I don’t want Downey to hang it up (I just can’t see anyone else play Tony Stark. He is Tony Stark).

      James Roday would be someone I welcome. Because he is absolutely amazing in Psych. though not sure how’d they pull it off.

      • Roday wouldn’t be bad but he’s not very serious and at times that would be a bad thing, but he does look the part though.

      • When was Don Cheadle in Pysch?

        • Psych that is.

    • Hell No!
      While Psych is an above average show, JR is a totally average actor. A single Iron Man scene that reminds you of his Psych character does not make him fit to be Stark.
      Besides that, he doesn’t look anything like Stark, half the time he looks like a rat. He’s got a tiny mouth and continually speaks through his teeth.
      He just would NOT make a convincing Stark.

  6. I hope they don’t do this just because it will give them serious precedent to start swapping out all of the actors. It’s jolting enough seeing Edward Norton turn into mark Ruffalo. I’d rather every character didn’t get a new face every couple of years as well. I’d prefer if they could retire the character,via death or leaving the team, when the actor no longer wants to play them, but I guess people may want to see characters longer then some may want to be them.

  7. Look here to just any person whos decided to read this(And most likely theres a 1 out of a 1000000000000 Robert Downey Jr. is):

    We all know the Avengers was great but RDJ put that flare to the movie and Iron Man

  8. Downey is stark. Can’t imagine anyone else in the role, as someone else put it, Downey is kind of the lynchpin to the MCU. Downey made so much money off of avengers that I can’t see him giving up the role an the adulation from fans, I think he’s just being coy as a bargaining chip in his renegotiations.

    • Its fully understandable to envision RDJ remaining Tony Stark for as long as possible, heck I struggle to picture anyone else in the role. The time has to come sooner or later where he will have to give the role over to someone else. Younger and with Different facets of Tony’s persona to explore.

      Its something that the Bond franchise has wrestled with every so often. While Sean Connery is still considered the eponymous and quintessential James Bond, E everybody has brought something new to the character – yet people still flock to see the new 007 movies – as evidenced by the success of Skyfall. Very few people had faith that a blonde haired blue eyed bond could work… Yet…

      Don’t knock the idea that it could work. I was looking forward to Terence Howard as War Machine but Don Cheadle TOTALLY owned. Case in point?

      • Hardly the same thing.
        Apart from liking a bit part to the title role, it’s not like the War Machine character had been OWNED before Cheadle did just that. RDJ has the benefit of not only looking like Stark and basically by being himself, of acting like him, he’s owned Tony Stark right from the 1st scene. He was, has become and hopefully shall continue to be, Tony Stark/Iron Man.

      • Bond is NOT the same.
        That’s different actors playing the same role in remakes of remakes of the same films. They’re the same 4 or 5 basic stories, all that really changes are the names, locations and the gadgets, basically reboots with each new actor. Watch them carefully, you’ll see what I mean.

  9. Please RDJ, dont leave

  10. I highly doubt they’ll replace Downey anytime soon, he helped build that studio and let’s be honest, look at all these comments, all say in the same accurate thing: RDJ is Tony Stark.

  11. As a fan of the MCU and RDJ, I would hate for him to leave.

    On the other hand, he is aging, and he cannot play Iron Man forever. I know people are gonna hate me for it, but someday, hopefully in the distant future, he will hang it up, and when that day comes, thank you RDJ.

  12. If RDJ leaves Iron man and Marvel.. I leave also.

  13. Well eventually , he will be too old for the part.
    At one point, he will have to be replaced .

    • At that point they’ll be enough material for us all to feel comfortable, including Downey himself, with moving on to a new Tony Stark. Right now and for the next 15 years, he still has so much more to do, the franchise needs him, Marvel needs him, IRONMAN NEEDS HIM. ( hope he sees this, and doesn’t walk away too soon. No one has taken a comic character and made him so real and likable. It just hadn’t happen til him. He did it, he bridged the gap, he made it happen. Let’s hope Marvel understands this isn’t comics, we need someone to identify with. He made good on all my childhood memories of Marvel, walking around comic stores, rifling through boxes, and IronMan was not one of my favorite characters from the comics, but, he is now.

  14. “Overstay my welcome”?? RDJ, you can never overstay your welcome with anyone. Do come back and play Iron Man. I think he’s a bit afraid of being typecasted. But I don’t think that’s possible, given he’s done so well with Sherlock Holmes. I’d like to see what he’ll do between Iron Man 3 and Avengers 2.

  15. If they can’t keep Robert Downey Jr then they should kill the character off.


    • I almost forgot…..
      Wesley Snipes gets out of jail July 19, 2013
      -so, you know, there’s that angle too.

      • Replace Iron Man with Blade. Another well established Marvel Character. Well… They did it with Captain America so… *shrugs*

        • What are you talking about “they did it with CA”? What are you saying.,?

          • Captain America was the Human Torch in the two terrible Fantastic Four movies.

            • Yes, but that’s not the same studio. The Fantastic Four was Fox, and thus not part of the MCU.

              • disney wasnt a part of marvel until only a few years ago. therefore your statement is now invalid.

                • Your name is Dick, anything you say is automatically invalid.

          • Yeah Wally what are you talking about?

        • The Avengers and Blade in one room? I’d definitely pay to see that! ;)

          • LOL… one of my favorite squads to run with in Ultimate Alliance was Blade, Thor, Iron Man, and Cap!!!

        • Is it just me, or does Captain America need to beef up? lol They should follow in the Flash tv series footsteps and shadow muscle. I picture Cap huge, not Hulk huge, but, pretty friggen huge. He’s got the jaw, but, the suits are doing him no justice. Pad him up, he’s a super soldier, not super average. lol It’s not his fault either he’s pretty big, but, the suits are just not as helpful as they should be.

      • @ Vaporware
        You said: “With that, who can fit the character
        …because the slightest deviation will make fans go bats***”
        And then you suggest that
        -Eduardo Noriega & Javier Bardem should be up for the role of Tony Stark!?
        Lol… U kidding me or what??

    • I love Jensen Ackles and Dean Winchesters, but RDJ’s shoes are too big to fill and anyone trying to step into them is doomed. I’d rather see him to take on a completely new character.

  16. Noo replacing STARK! No. No!!!! RDJ IS tony. Please no.

  17. RDJ is Tony! I’m glad this article says “after Avengers 2″ even though RDJ has yet to sign ANYTHING for A2

  18. Also lets not treat Tony Stark/Iron Man as James Bond… I’m sorry but I don’t see Tom Cruise, or anyone else playing him, Cept RDJ.

    I concer with everyone here, once RDJ is recast, I’m done with the MCU, he’s TOO valuable to replace.

    They revived his career, and he started up a multi-movie-verse for them.

    Win win.

  19. If Robert is replaced, I’m heading out like a fetus. Simple as that.

  20. As much as I enjoy Robert as Iron Man, my thoughts are that he should retire the role, after Avengers 2 at the latest.

    Fear of being typecast aside, as well as the aging issue, there are other lesser known superheroes that deserve the spotlight, and really, keeping Iron Man and Robert in the armor would simply be milking it. Fangasms and dollars, that’s what Iron Man would turn into should he continue to be exposed as much as he is now.

    Recasting might not be a bad way to go, and frankly, every actor-as-character is replacable, and that includes Ledger as the Joker and Jackman as Wolvie. Naturally, with all the given characters, the diehard fan(atic)s will whine about Marvel “dropping the bomb and replacing their favorites with untalented youth”, but let’s be realistic – how long will it take Downey Jr. to get sick with the role?

    I say retire the man and recast him if needed. It’s for the best.

  21. Also also, people forget that RDJ has been around forever, he’s not one to get type casted, he’s been Charlie Chaplin for god sakes!

    He jus enjoys being Tony so much. I love that he loves it. It makes you want him to continue to be the character, unlike Gwenth (sp?) who doesn’t see herself going beyond IM3.

    People who don’t/didn’t enjoy their roles: Natale Portman, Hugo Weaving.

  22. Give him picture-to-picture deals for A2, and A3 (maybe GoTG, or Ant-Man)?

    Seems legit.

  23. I think they should simply hire RDJ for Avengers 2 and 3… those are already enough for his future appearance. Especially with new heroes like Ant-Man, Dr Strange and possibly Black Panther leading Phase 3, I doubt there’s going to be another Iron Man movies after 3.

  24. I hope he doesn’t leave until Phase 3 is finished. I have no clue who could play him as well as RDJ does. Hopefully we won’t have to worry about that for another decade or so.

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