Robert Downey Jr. Talks ‘Iron Man 3′ Casting, Tony Stark Being Recast

Published 3 years ago by

RDJ Talks Recasting Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. Talks Iron Man 3 Casting, Tony Stark Being Recast

With The Avengers nearly out the door, theatrically-speaking, the next major motion picture on Marvel’s slate is Iron Man 3, starring Robert Downey Jr. and co-written and directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang).

Recently, RDJ discussed the possibility of another actor replacing him as Tony Stark down the line. He also addressed the casting rumors regarding Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, and Andy Lau.

On how he would feel if Iron Man were to be recast – courtesy of MTV – RDJ said:

“I would really hate for someone else to think they could step into my shoes. I wonder who’s playing Tony Stark next. Is it you? Is that what you’re here to tell me?”

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark Robert Downey Jr. Talks Iron Man 3 Casting, Tony Stark Being Recast

On how much longer he plans to stick it out in the role:

“I know things are looking like that they could go on for a long while. As usual in my book, it’s all about quality control and delivering a product that you can have this kind of [positive] reaction to, [like 'The Avengers']. If [Marve] keep[s] doing that, maybe I’ll keep showing up.”

In other words, what’re the chances that Downey Jr. gets his fill of blockbuster films – the Marvel movies and Sherlock Holmes – and decides to return to more challenging roles? We probably don’t have to worry about that for a while, of course, but the party can’t last forever.

On the casting rumors regarding Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, et cetera:

“[I can’t wait to work with] any or all of them. [...] It’s funny. Sometimes you have to call for a good old-fashioned British invasion. ‘Iron Man 3′ is really shaping up to be something special. We start in a couple weeks. I’m sure I’ll be leaking secrets to you as we move ahead.”

Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3 Robert Downey Jr. Talks Iron Man 3 Casting, Tony Stark Being Recast

On whether or not Iron Man 3 will take place, in part, in Asia, as has been speculated:

“I’d like to tell you all my secrets, but I forget them.”

While all of the Marvel standalone films have inspired a certain amount of fan hype in my heart, Iron Man 3 is the first one I’ve been extremely excited about since, well, Iron Man. That’s due primarily to Shane Black’s involvement as co-writer/director.  Of course, Black’s filmic follow-up to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang could have had nothing whatsoever to do with the Marvel universe, and I’d still be extremely excited.

What say you, Screen Ranters? Would it be acceptable to recast Iron Man a few years down the line, or is Robert Downey Jr. the only man for the job? Let us know in the comments.

Iron Man 3 hits theaters May 3rd, 2013.


Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: MTV [via Comic Book Movie]

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  1. while it would suck for RDJ to stop being ironman if you think about it not that many move franchises go past 3 movies(most exceptions are from novel series) so in the long run ironman 3 could be the last one then avengers 2 if they decide to go through with it. but on the other hand RDJ might not stop being ironman(if it goes past 3rd) simply for the money because you know he gets paid well for the role.

  2. I think it would be tough to adapt to a new guy playing iron man, the whole series is so much fun and loving and Robert is a really big part of that, so it would be hard for me to picture anyone else playing him right now and also Junior is in pretty good condition right now hes doing a bunch of movies and pulling off a ton of action hero roles like Sherlock Harry Lockheart and Iron Man and keep in mind hes in his fourties or something (at least he looks like he is). I think Robert Downey Jr was born to play iron man i think its his character but i dont think he was the only one born to play iron man i think when the Iron Man series is done (and i hope they just end it with Iron Man 3 because a 4th film is pushing it) years and years will pass and when we are all much older with and we take our kids to the movies one day we are going to see a trailer for a movie called iron man and we will all laugh until we cry because we will remember all the fun we had with these movies but we will also notice that those times are gone and now its time for somebody else to have some fun and have the honor of playing Tony Stark, i think that would be a really fun role to play. Life goes on i guess and you cant deny it or ignore it you hav to move with it or else you get stuck for a very long time and its so hard to get out, so for the future, good luck to whoever plays iron man.

    PS- when they do start all over again in like 20 years i hope they give Robert a cameo lol.

  3. RDJ only please don recast it. He just to damn good. What are the going to go remake Chaplin now to come on…

  4. I hate recasts in all shapes and forms. It destroys the illusion and when you think back to previous movies. Try thinking back to great movies past only to have to think of the recast and try to focus on the story as opposed to the actor that help immerse you in the illusion and escapism. Its impossible. I wrote off the first hulk so when Edward Norton was cast I was excited. But then Avengers comes out and there is yet another recast. Nothing against the new actor he’s great, but the illusion. Iron Man 2 had a great replacement and I loved the actor who played Rhodes, but again looking back I can’t because its not sunonumous. If they replace Jr, Then Im out. Batman was bad enough with replacing Rachael Doss, Great actor and acting, but Mrs. Holmes had that part and sold me on the Prosecutor bent on cleaning up Gotham.

    So future rule of thumb… Recast? Avoid at all costs.

  5. Well, Jeremy Renner seems to be taking over for everybody: Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, so he might as well do this.

    He’ll be just like Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson: In every single movie that ever comes out.

    • And he will act with himself in The Avengers 2, makes sense

      • See, even you understand. This guy can do ANYTHING, even take roles away from himself.

  6. They could always cast Ed Quinn; he’s got the look, the arrogance, and the snark down pat. Hell, he even played a Stark (Nathan, on Eureka) who was modeled after Tony Stark. I think he could handle it.

    But other than that, I’m at a loss. And RDJ said he’d stay with the character as long as they kept it interesting and a product he can get behind. Marvel has made some poor choices in their movies (Halle Berry as Storm, Nick Cage as Ghost Rider, Hulk, Wolverine: Origins, to name a few) and if they muck up Iron Man so bad as to make RDJ walk away, it’s a safe bet we all should to. I’m a little nervous with Favreau leaving the franchise, but the guy they got to replace him is solid, so I guess time will tell.

    • While I agree that those particular casting choices were awful (with the exception of Storm, can you think of anyone more suited for the role?) those were not “marvel” films. They were Fox and other studios. Marvel had no creative control over their production.

      • I don’t believe for a second that Marvel had no control over those movies. Marvel has made poor decisions, but to forfeit all control over the film adaptations of some of their biggest properties would have been reckless. If that was the case though, I’ll rephrase my previous statement to reflect that they had sacrificed all creative control and allowed those castings and movies to happen (also amend the list to include Daredevil, Spiderman 3, X-Men 3, both Fantastic 4 movies and casting the same actor to play The Human Torch and Captain America).

        As for Halle Berry as Storm, try almost any other actress. Halle was two dimensional and fake. She brought nothing to the character that even made her remotely feel like her comic counterpart. She was meek where Storm needed to be strong, and any scene where she showed strength it felt shallow and contrived. Her turn as Catwoman only served to solidify what a poor actress she is (Oscar be damned).

        Angela Basset would have been perfect, if a little old. Jada Pinkett Smith would have given it a fair shake, better than Halle at least.

        • Marvel had SOME (and that’s being generous) creative input into the movies Fox, Universal and Sony made, but they certainly didn’t control casting decisions.

  7. Hell no,pls I love Robert he the man no1 better.

  8. Downey will always be the “true” Tony Stark character, just as Tobey MacGuire is Peter Parker. However, IF the franchise keeps lasting beyond when Downey is just too old to play Stark, I could probably accept a substitute; however, he would likely always be second-string, even if good, in my mind. I would just hope they would search very carefully for a suitable substitute before deciding who it would be, for such an important role.

    • Keep in mind, sometimes the replacement far outshines the original. Christian Bale as Batman, for example. Do Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Val Kilmer or George Clooney even cold a candle? Michael Keaton was great, maybe as good, but I’ll admit I’m biased because he was my “first” Batman on the big screen, and I was too young to enjoy the camp of the Adam West series (I appreciate it more now).

      Or how about James Bond. Compare Daniel Craig to any that came before him. Sean Connery is the only one that comes close and that’s only because he’s Sean Fracking Connery. But if you go back and watch any of the old Bond movies compared to the new ones, they just don’t hold up.

      Sometimes change is good. And sometimes, it breathes new life into a dying franchise.

    • They could use him as a future Stark or go with an older retired Iron Man movie. If that fails we can just recast Magneto with RDJ.

  9. No body else can play that role. Iron Man will die when Robert Downey Jr. does. and that’s not ever going to happen.

  10. Robert Downey Jr. IS Tony Stark. Anyone else would just feel… wrong. I’m getting tired of all these recasts by Marvel.

    • They’ve only had two recasts:
      Col. Rhodes and Bruce Banner. And IMO, recasting both of those characters worked out great – especially getting Ruffalo to play Bruce Banner.
      But I agree, RDJ IS Tony Stark. I doubt anyone will/should ever be able to fill his shoes.

      • Only 2?

        Are you forgetting Sabertooth (Tyler Mane in X-Men and Liev Schreiber in Wolverine)?

        Kitty Pryde (Sumela Kay in X-Men, Katie Stuart in X2 and Ellen Paige in X3)?

        Dr. Henry ‘Hank’ McCoy (Steve Bacic in X2, Kelsey Grammer X3) and not to mention the retconning that had to be done since he appeared human in X2 but became Beast in X-Men First Class.

        Pyro (Alex Burton in X-Men, Aaron Stanford in X2 and X3)?

        Or Howard Stark (Gerard Sanders in Iron Man, John Slattery in Iron Man 2, and Dominic Cooper in Captain America)?

        It happens. And it happens a lot. I’m sure I even missed a few.

        • None of the x-men recast count, as they were not in the control of Marvel, they were Sony movies. As for the different Howard Starks, they portray him at different ages(especially in Captain America, that was a thirty year age difference, the same actor would have been impossible) so that shouldn’t really count either IMO.

          • I’ll give you that. Though they were still Marvel properties, and the point holds. A cast change doesn’t break a franchise.

            Speaking of castings Marvel was in charge of, why did they cast the same guy to play Captain America that played Human Torch? You’re telling me that there was no one else that could have done as good a job or better?

            We can suspend our disbelief when one actor plays multiple characters (in the same universe) but we get all up in arms when an existing actor gets replaced down the line? That seems silly.

            • Like I said in a previous reply to your comment (hopefully you’ll actually read it this time ;))
              Marvel had SOME (and that’s being generous) creative input into the movies Fox, Universal and Sony made, but they certainly didn’t control casting decisions.

              “We can suspend our disbelief when one actor plays multiple characters (in the same universe)” — that just shows you know almost nothing about what’s going on here. The FF movies have absolutely nothing to do with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or Marvel Studios (i.e. it’s not “in the same universe”).
              So… Chris Evans. Yes, he’s a very good choice to play Captain America (as he’s proven). And since the FF movies have nothing to do with Marvel Studios, I don’t see the problem…

              • I read it. I know Marvel didn’t have casting control for FF, but they did for CA. Not one person in the studio thought, “Um this guy has already played a Marvel character.”

                I know there has been no crossover of the non Marvel Studios titles (except withing their own franchises, like Wolverine showing up in First Class) and so their film universes are separate. But they still all fall under the Marvel umbrella. So, as they are all Marvel titles, they are all part of the Marvel Universe. As in the comics, just because the titles don’t do crossovers, they’re still in the Marvel Universe (whatever iteration of it is active currently). That’s all I was saying.

                I’ll admit, I’ve always felt that all actors should be limited to one comic character roll. I don’t even like it when they cross the Marvel/DC line. Halle Berry did such a bang up job as Storm, someone thought it would be a good idea to make her Catwoman. That went well (about as good as I expected). James Marsden was pretty good as Cyclops, then they make him Perry White’s son in Superman Returns and he barely made a blip on the radar (so much so I can’t even remember his character’s name). Ryan Reynolds had so much potential as Deadpool (if they’d given him more then a handful of lines) and sucked as the Green Lantern (though I realize that he could only do so much with the script he was given). Chris Evans is the exception to that trend in that he was a great Captain America. But since he was already the Human Torch, I would have loved to see someone else in the role.

                  • Okay, I can accept that. The whole time I’ve been looking at it like they were separate titles but shared the same universe (like the comics) but you make a good point. And it could definitely be argued that all the Marvel Studios movies are part of the Ultimate Universe anyway.

  11. It worked for Hulk going from Norton to Ruffalo and Brody going from Howard to Cheadle but too much has been invested in RDJ to recast Iron Man without rebooting and that doesn’t work at this point. It’s like recasting Wolverine but worse.

    • I was trying to type Rhodey

    • No, it definitly did NOT work for the Hulk.

  12. I don’t think there is any point speculating if the Iron Man franchise will survive after Iron Man 3, all we can do is wait and see. The only way it will survive is if the story and characters are good and they don’t rush things.

    You could, in a way compare this with the Spider-Man Franchise, Spider-Man was good, Spider-Man 2 was excellent, but they killed that trilogy with Spider-Man 3.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m not comparing the actors here just the franchise themselves.

    If Iron Man 3 does have a good story the franchise will survive and RDJ should be on board for the 4th. I expect Downey is contracted for 3 Iron Man films, and probably Avengers 2 but after that who knows!!

    Only time will tell….

  13. Instead of rebooting, cause it seems like that and the word ‘remake’ is all that goes on for these movies, just do a movie on a new marvel character. Make it Iron Man 1 quality. You can do so much with characters like Deadpool, Moon Knight, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, even someone like Cable.

  14. please read till the end of this comment before you reply, i do address what people who disagree with this viewpoint have brought up…

    RDJ will be eventually replaced. it could take decades even, but someone else will eventually become the next tony stark. iron man’s too big of a franchise now for there to never be any reboots again.


    it is a fact that the reboot(s) will either fail miserably or at least never be nearly as successful or popular as RDJ’s version. let me remind you about another actor that has been replaced several times now… Christopher Reeves’ Superman.

    christopher reeves was the perfect superman. he looked the part, felt the part, and even pulled off the “red undies” that hollywood folks keep bitching about all the time. HE WAS SUPERMAN. and to this day, nobody has even come close to being as popular or successful as him in the role of superman (even more successful than you may think considering inflation).

    nobody can ever truly replace christopher reeves, just like nobody will be able to truly replace RDJ.

    now people brought up cases like the replacement of batman, spiderman, xavier, magneto, hulk, war machine, daredevil, fantastic four, etc.

    1. replacements like daredevil and fantastic four do not compare to this case because they were failures. so much so, that their replacement is being looked forward to.

    2. replacements like war machine do not compare either because not many people really cared about the character as much as they do about iron man

    3. replacements like hulk and batman do not compare because although some of them have been successful. none of the actors who have played the part ever felt as ‘perfect’ as RDJ is for iron man, or Reeves is for superman. and no, not even bale. i am sure quite a few of you can list a few good candidates off the top of your head right now to be the next matman, even though we all love bale in the role.

    4. replacements like xavier and magneto don’t compare because mcavoy and fassbender played younger xavier and magneto. i.e. different versions. although it was the same character, their age and PERSONALITIES were vastly different hence making this possible. (this is also a reason why the tv series smallville was a moderate success, it never tried to replace Reeves, it just portrayed a different version –we never even see Welling in the costume until the end.)

    5. replacements like spiderman dont compare because as much as you and i may have loved tobey in the part and thought he was perfect, there is a large quantity of people that either hated him as spiderman for a variety of reasons (two of which include: “not looking the part” and “not pulling off the witty spiderman schtick too well”). that is not to even mention the people who hated the “melodrama” and “campy”(sic.) attitude of the raimi films. so as many people as there are who think maguire was perfect, there as many who wanted there to be a change –which is unlike the case of RDJ, where it is almost unanimous that “RDJ is the perfect iron man” –now all this is not even considering that fact that the new spiderman reboot might actually fail

    damn i wrote way more than i initially intended to. but with all this i rest my case: RDJ is to iron man, like Reeves is to superman. he will be replaced but it wont ever be as successful.

    P.S. -cavill sucks as superman and will most certainly fail. in the pics i have seen, he seems like he feels awkward in the suit by the way he’s standing in most of them.

    • When you say “nobody has even come close” to replacing Christopher Reeve, you mean “Brandon Routh”. Nobody has seen the new one yet. Don’t get ahead of yourself. And also, don’t forget that two of Reeve’s four movies stunk to a Schumacher level. I’m not defending the new Superman in particular, as I’m not planning to see it myself because I’ve sworn off reboots.

      You say nobody that’s played Batman so far was “perfect” for the role, but I disagree, and feel that Michael Keaton was, as far as I’m concerned, “perfect”. You can’t say that Downey is perfect for Iron Man, but Maguire wasn’t perfect for Spider-man. It’s all subjective. You can have your opinion, just like anyone else.

      At the time, few thought Sean Connery could ever be replaced as James Bond. Well, he’s done only six movies out of twenty-four (counting “Never Say Never Again”). Apparently, they’ve done okay without him. There’s an advantage to being the first, especially if you’re successful, because you get to set the mold. But nobody’s irreplacable in Hollywood, as long as the movie is good.

      All that being said, I don’t look forward to Downey retiring. Thankfully, they’ll probably decide to reboot the character then, and I won’t need to bother making the adjustment while I’m busy not watching it. If they continue as they have (till recently) with Bond, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, and give the new guy a shot at making the role his own.

      Unless it’s Shia Labeouf.

      • I think he’s including all of the TV versions as well. Though (save for a few seasons) I think Tom Welling did a decent job in Smallville.

        But you realize that Christopher Reeve wasn’t the first Superman, right? There were plenty of people that said that George Reeves was the perfect Superman and that no one would play the part better. There are people that still believe that to this day.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love Christopher Reeve, and I agree that he is the best Superman to date. But I also know that as the Superman I grew up with, no one will be able to bring the life to the character that Christoper did. I also know that makes me extremely biased. I will compare every new Superman movie I see to the time I saw Superman in the theater when I was a kid. And no movie today will ever make me feel the way I did when I was a kid. They’re at a disadvantage right out of the gates. Same goes for Batman. As great as Christian Bale is, Michael Keaton will always be Batman to me.

        A lot of people feel the same way about Bond. I grew up watching the old movies with my father. Sean Connery was the best James Bond by far (heavy emphasis on *was*). Daniel Craig is the best James Bond, by leaps and bounds. He’s everything Bond should be.

        Now, RDJ is perfect for the roll, but when the time comes for him to bow out it’s likely they’ll find someone as good or better. And if we, as fanboys, can get off our high horses and give the guy a chance, we’ll likely (hopefully) be very surprised.

        Iron Man is too profitable of a property for Marvel to just stop making movies when RDJ eventually leaves the franchise (and he will). And expecting them to do so is just ridiculous.

        • I think you’re probably right. I was referring just to the moves. I’m aware that there have been several Superman TV shows, though apart from a couple of the old George Reeves episodes, I’ve never seen any.

          For me, Bond has always been a much more important character than any of the superheroes. Since we’ve long learned to accept that Bond is going to “regenerate” every so often, I guess I have a hard time seeing why it should be any different with any other character. Everybody’s going to have different opinions as to who is the best at the role. For me, oddly enough, the best Bonds were the ones I least looked forward to, Craig and Dalton. It’s all about the quality of the film. If the movie is good, you’ll adjust to the new actor. If Iron Man 23 is a good movie, I won’t care that it’s the fifth or sixth new actor playing Stark.

  15. No RDJ and I will boycott them

    • So boycott it, and possibly miss out on a great film. They’ll make it anyway because for every person who boycotts it, thousands will go and see it and the movie will make millions.

  16. Robert Downey Jr should keep the role.

  17. As loathed as people are to admit it, RDJ made the character his own and helped make the whole Tony Stark/Iron Man personality more popular than it has probably ever been. People tend to get put off by his snarky attitude in interviews, but that’s just his sense of humor and it shows he has fun with what he does while doing a pretty good job.

  18. Ian Somerholden as a replacemengt for RDJ?

  19. Marvel was not in charge of casting the Human Torch. The Fantastic Four series was not made by Marvel. It was made by Fox which means the Marvel company had no control over it. Marvel made their own film company which is who has made Iron Man 1 and 2, Captain America, Thor, and The Incredible Hulk… which they did have control over

  20. hi, personally i cant stand it when they keep changing the actors when making sequels when you start watching the first film you get into the character and start liking the way they act out that character and then when they change characters its not the same its like watching it al over again, i think no one else could play the role of ironman apart from Robert Downey Jr, if he goes then they should stop making the films.

  21. I agree that RDJ is Iron man. He is such a fantastic actor that he made the franchise even possible (combined with the directing talent of John Favreau). If at some point down the line marvel plans to have another actor don the armor,then I feel they should do a movie with RDJ as tony Stark passing the torch so to speak to a protogee in a film,to where Tony may retire & the younger protogee can take up the mantle. At this point in time though it wouldn’t make any sense being that Marvel films is still a relatively young franchise & they have so many more wonderful stories & characters to explore and turn into films. They should keep in mind the aspect of making quality movies & not get too far ahead of themselves.

  22. Be very hard to fill his shoes he makes the movies. Clearly.

  23. They will never replace RDJ. In fact, Feigle has already apologized for even bringing up the subject – I think he was speaking in jest — and for the amount of media coverage and fan speculation it has received. He misspoke, that’s all. The Iron Man franchise will be retired with RDJ – hopefully he won’t be like Harrison Ford and be convinced he can play his iconic character until he’s well into his 70s. (Which actually brings up a cool point – who better to take over as Indiana Jones than RDJ, right now? Hmm…) RDJ has a very keen sense of when enough is enough — he will continue to play Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes as long as he’s having fun and being challenged by those characters (remember that the actor most people think of as the classic Holmes, Basil Rathbone, made 14 Sherlock Holmes movies — it’s a character that you can play very well as you age. Maybe that’s one reason they want to do the Iron Man Extremis storyline now — RDJ is in top shape, age 47, and can do the skin-tight gold suit justice. But since these movies take 3 to 4 years to conceive, write, get greeenlighted and roll out, the NEXT Iron Man will be when he’s 50-ish. And God willing he will still be young-looking, fit and fantastic (excuse me a moment while I fangirl…50 is not old!), but he knows there’s a limit to superheroing. As an RDJ fan I know what he is capable of in other, more serious roles and as much as I love Tony and Holmes, I want to see him in Oscar-worthy material too. Right now he’s so booked up with the franchises that he gets little time to even consider other things. It’s a great problem for him to have — he spent so many years struggling for success and good movies (some of his problems due to his addiction, of course, which he is the first to admit), and it is such a pleasure to see him on top now. But no, I think Marvel is not stupid – they will get another couple of Iron Man movies out of RDJ, and a couple more Avengers, and then I think that will be it — they won’t recast. Maybe 50 or 70 years down the road when Hollywood does its typical thing and re-makes everything, they will re-boot with different casts — never say never around Hollywood! But by then, who knows what movies will look like – they may be projected directly into our brains, and the old casts might be hologrammed and re-animated so they can “act” in new movies! You never know.

  24. Somehow, recasting the role of Tony Stark would be a very tricky thing, since Robert put his unique stamp on the character, and anyone who assumed the role would be forever compared to RDJ, which would be very unfair to both RDJ and the actor who would succeed him, imo.

    Having said that, however… I seriously doubt that recasting Tony Stark will happen anytime soon.

  25. I don’t like the idea of re-casting RDJ, i however don’t mind the idea of Tony Stark finding someone he could pass the mantle to.

  26. Tony Stark is deffo the only man for the job I would lose interest if they were to recast. Its like when they changed eric banner to Edward norton for the hulk they just about got away with it but the guy who plays him in the avengers is the only hulk I wanna see from now on. Robert downy jnr is iron man .

  27. I think Marvel would get a *BUNCH* of hate if RDJ is replaced. RDJ fits, plays, and looks the role perfectly. It would also be very awkward if they change who acts as Tony Stark, considering RDJ has played Tony Stark in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and The Avengers. Personally, I would also be very upset if they changed who Iron Man was and I doubt I would even bother to see Iron Man 3 or the 2 Avengers movie (if they ever make it).

  28. No one can do the job better than Robert Downey jr, he played iron man for a while and well. The fans still need him to play the role.