Kevin Feige Says 'Iron Man' Role is Interchangeable Like James Bond
Now before anyone gets bent out of shape, let's be clear that Robert Downey Jr. doesn't currently have any plans to walk away from the Iron Man franchise at Marvel Studios just yet. Iron Man 3 is well on its way to shooting this summer (with Ben Kingsley playing the villain, and Guy Pearce and Jessica Chastain playing a couple of scientists) and Downey is likely already signed for a sequel to The Avengers as well. But beyond that, the actor is getting closer to being 50-years old, and he won't always be suiting up as Iron Man. Thankfully, it sounds like we won't have to endure a franchise reboot, at least if Kevin Feige has his way.
In speaking with Badass Digest, Feige was talking about the future of the franchise if Downey were to walk away or become too old to fill Tony Stark's shoes anymore. It was suggested that the role of Tony Stark could easily be like James Bond in that a new actor could step into the role for a series of films to keep the story alive. Feige seemed to like the idea saying:
"I think Bond is a good example. Let’s put it this way: I hope Downey makes a lot of movies for us as Stark. If and when he doesn’t, and I’m still here making these movies, we don’t take him to Afghanistan and have him wounded again. I think we James Bond it."
Of course, Feige still says the character can age with the actor as long as he stays with the role for an extended period of time. It's also pointed out that the truly taxing part of the role, suiting up as Iron Man for action, could easily be done by a stuntman with Downey still playing Stark and providing his voice to the action scenes. It's not a bad idea, and it would mean that we wouldn't have to see another origin story or a complete reboot of the franchise. Thankfully, Feige seems to be against the idea of a reboot, or at least the moniker that comes with them, altogether. Feige says:
"I think the term reboot has got to go. I think it’s like after the 'Star Wars' movies nobody likes the idea of prequels, and reboots have turned into the same thing. It means ‘Oh they’ve run out of ideas! It’s bad.’ I’ve seen 'The Amazing Spider-Man.' It’s awesome. It’s totally fresh and unique."
So basically what it comes down to is coming to terms with the universe of comic book movies, being similar to that of the comic book world. We can have multiple iterations of the same hero, but we don't necessarily need a new origin story or even the whining that comes with having a new actor step into a superhero role. And if there's one superhero who is worthy of immortality like James Bond, it's the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Tony Stark. But the question is who could live up to the perfect performance that Downey has delivered thus far? Kyle Chandler comes to mind, especially after his turn as Bruce Baxter in King Kong. What about Billy Crudup, Timothy Olyphant or maybe the more A-List choice of Leonardo DiCaprio? Actually, Colin Farrell would be pretty damn perfect. What do you guys think?