Marvel Willing to Replace Robert Downey Jr; No Plans for ‘War Machine’ or ‘Falcon’ Solo Films

Published 1 year ago by , Updated May 12th, 2013 at 7:16 am,

Iron Man Robert Downey Jr Marvel Willing to Replace Robert Downey Jr; No Plans for War Machine or Falcon Solo Films

It’s been a roller coaster ride of a week for Marvel movie fans. First, Iron Man 3 launched with the second largest opening in U.S. box office history – despite a mixed response from some die-hard comic book fans. Then, we got word that the contract negotiations between star Robert Downey Jr. and Marvel Studios were expected to be “challenging” – since the Disney-owned production company is known for low-balling its cast members (while at the same time raking in record-breaking revenue).

Even before the reports of the arduous contract renegotiation process, studio head Kevin Feige once again prepared fans for the possibility that Marvel will (eventually) part ways with Robert Downey Jr. – claiming that the filmmakers could simply re-cast the character (a la James Bond).

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Feige said:

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

Iron Man 3 Box Office Marvel Willing to Replace Robert Downey Jr; No Plans for War Machine or Falcon Solo Films

We’ve already broken down the issues facing the Marvel Studios/Robert Downey Jr. negotiations (as well as identified the likely outcomes) – so, until we hear something official, anything is still possible. Still, as evidenced by Feige’s James Bond comment (along with the hope of “Iron Man 20“), Marvel fully intends to make Iron Man (as well as Thor, Captain America, etc) films for as long as they can. As a result, fans need to be ready (in the long run) to see fan-favorite actors swapped out of these iconic roles. Not only is their already a precedent for it in the Shared Universe (since Edward Norton’s Incredible Hulk is a Phase One film), Feige has already, on multiple occasions, asserted that they won’t hesitate to recast Tony Stark or any other character. While that might not be what fans want to hear, even if Robert Downey Jr. returns for The Avengers 2 (and 3) as well as Iron Man 4 (and 20), eventually the studio will hand the Iron Man armor (and possibly the Tony Stark character) over to someone else.

It may be awhile before we have a clear idea of how involved Downey will be in future Marvel installments but Feige also took the time to clear-up other rumors that have been causing a stir in the Screen Rant comments.

First up, in an interview with Collider, Feige outright stated that the studio has no current plans for either a standalone War Machine (aka Iron Patriot) or Falcon (seen soon in Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier). Speculation had surfaced that Marvel could be interested in tapping either character for a solo adventure – mainly because both Don Cheadle (War Machine) and Anthony Mackie (Falcon) were out promoting their latest films, Iron Man 3 as well as Pain and Gain, respectively. This doesn’t mean that either character couldn’t eventually get the green light for a solo film – nor does it rule out the possibility that Falcon and/or War Machine might make an appearance in The Avengers 2 or enjoy further sidekick duties in other Marvel films.

Iron Man 3 Preview War Machine Iron Patriot Colors Marvel Willing to Replace Robert Downey Jr; No Plans for War Machine or Falcon Solo Films

For the time being, we can put rumors of these solo films to rest – unless of course Feige is outright lying. Anyone who follows the constant back and forth of comic book news, leaks, denials, and confirmations, knows that studio heads will sometimes downplay in-development projects as nothing but unsubstantiated rumors to help keep the focus on the current batch of films that are ready for promotion (i.e. Phase Two not Three). That said, given the roster of forthcoming releases and confirmed in-development projects (like Doctor Strange), War Machine and Falcon are probably not at the forefront of Marvel’s plans.

So what other film projects are Marvel Studios actually developing? In addition to Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers 2, Ant-Man, and Doctor Strange, we also know that Iron Fist, Black Panther, and The Runaways have at least been discussed. Now we’re getting word that the studio has also toyed with a Ms. Marvel script as well as a rebooting Blade (after the rights reverted back from New Line Cinema).

Blade should be pretty familiar to comic book movie fans already after Wesley Snipes introduced the character to mainstream filmgoers in 1998 (continuing with two more films through 2004). Though, it’s unclear exactly how Marvel would approach rebooting the character – specifically how they could differentiate the new installment from the prior trilogy as well as whether the character has any place in the larger shared universe. Maybe they’ll use Blade to launch a MI-13 team-up? Probably not.

Ms Marvel Avengers Marvel Willing to Replace Robert Downey Jr; No Plans for War Machine or Falcon Solo Films

Ms. Marvel, while probably less familiar to casual movie fans, is a more obvious fit for tie-in with The Avengers – given that she’s been a member of the team before. Rumors within the last year even suggested that the character would appear in The Avengers 2 – possibly played by Emily Blunt (Looper) or Ruth Wilson (Luther). Given that Disney interested in upping the number of female heroes in their Avengers roster, there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t also want to add a few female-centric solo films too.

Nevertheless, the THR report that revealed the studio has scripts for Ms. Marvel and a Blade reboot also suggests that they were the result of an internal writing program that serves as a “concept generator” – meaning that the scripts might only be thinly drawn blueprints at this point – not projects that are actively being prepared for the inevitable Marvel Phase Three.

Iron Man 3 is now playing in theaters, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and Doctor Strange sometime after that.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more on Marvel Studios as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

Source: Entertainment Weekly [via The Playlist], Collider, and THR

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TAGS: captain america 2, iron man 3, the avengers 2

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  1. They’re still in negotiations and its very early that not even a single piece of footage of film has been shot for Avengers 2. His price goes high, then they look for another actor or sign him at any cost. Technically, this is how it works even with pro athletes. Trust me, thats painful.

    • I ask again WOULD DISNEY RE-CAST Captain Jack Sparrow???

      • No

  2. If marvel does end it’s contract with Downey jr. it’s their dumbest move ever. There’s no iron man without him In their movies. Robert Downey jr IS tony stark. It would be a big disappointment to me. Love the comics but as far as the movies are concerned theres no tony stark without Downey jr. Would really like to see his contract renewed for avengers 2, 3, iron man 4, 5 and 6 at least.

    • i didnt even like iron man3 but robert downey jr was great as tony stark if he gets replaced i wont watch it

    • Amen he said at the end of iron man 3 that he is iron man so therefore he should remain iron man

    • i agree like there ratings for the movie would go down so much

  3. Don’t replaced Robert Downey it would ruin the movie a lot of people fell in love with his character and personally i don’t think i would go see the movie if he was replaced in the avengers he gave the movie a little bit of humor that made everyone laugh at the serious parts in iron man 3 he was so funny had me dying please don’t replace him trust me you will get a lot of hatred in response

  4. Why Ruin Iron-Man, Its way to soon to Replace Robert Downey. Plus, why does Disney Ruin every movie, I hate the fact that Disney steps in and has no place in The Marvel Universe. Last time i check an comic book from Marvel it didn’t have Mickey Mouse on it!

  5. Downey made Iron Man what it is to recast the role is retarded. I won’t watch the next flick if they do.

    • Funny, most of the people on here (the comments section) has said they wouldn’t watch A2 or A3 with RDJ in it.

      I’ve said it months and months ago, and it still holds true.
      I’m glad he signed a 2 picture deal with Marvel to return.

      Everyone can now breath a sigh of relief that he’s back in action.

      • really

  6. i want ROBERT DOWNEY JR as IRON MAN.we are fixed he is the IRON MAN,
    if you change him it effected on your collections.

  7. Don’t replaced Robert Downey it would ruin the movie a lot of people fell in love with his character and personally i don’t think i would go see the movie if he was replaced in the avengers he gave the movie a little bit of humor that made everyone laugh at the serious parts in iron man 3 he was so funny had me dying please don’t replace him trust me you will get a lot of hatred in response

  8. Sure. James Bond, Spidey, and Batman are ever-changing.

    But there’s one factor that makes it okay; they had a conclusion. That being said, this “conclusion” could be from a story standpoint, or simply a social and pop-cultural standpoint.

    Take Spider-Man, for example. Even though the story was obviously not through, it was unanimously deemed “NOPE. DONE” (so to speak) by the general population when Spider-Man 3 debuted. The need for change was dire.

    How about James Bond, you ask? Throughout the decades, it dragged on for a few years, then took a break for a handful more. Again, change was well sought out.

    As for Batman? In the past, it changed continuously with the same reasons as Spidey and Mr. Bond. Oh-ho! But as for Affleck’s sporadic dawning of the cape? Well, we all know how well the fine folk of the interwebs reacted to that sudden change!

    My point being, if you change a character that has practically become synched to a whole generation’s idea of who that character is, how he acts, talks, and even moves so suddenly then there will be utter outrage.

    Seriously, Disney. You can’t just make something an icon, then paint a new face upon it.

  9. You know,I would not watch Iron Man 4 without Robert Downey Jr.Anyway,it has been approved that Robert Downey Jr would play as Iron Man in avengers 2 & 3.He is Iron Man.No one can play his role.He just stays in his role.They must replace Kevin Feige for saying a stupid and idiotic thing like that.He does not know who Robert Downey Jr is and how much fans he has got.Replacing him will just end the role into a garbage trash and will get a lot of negative ratings.

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