Robert Downey Jr. is hinting that he may retire as Iron Man at the age of 50, just after he completes shooting on The Avengers 2 in 2014. Walt Disney Pictures and Marvel Studios have no intentions of retiring the character of Tony Stark, nor do they plan on "rebooting" the franchise once Robert Downey Jr. steps away from the armor.
"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. 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."
When considering who might assume the role, we have to consider where Robert Downey Jr. was at in his career. He was a recovering drug addict trying to reemerge in Hollywood. After a couple of failed attempts at the box office, 2008's Iron Man served as a true comeback, and sealed his fate as a major player in show business. Will Marvel go after someone needing a similar boost? Or will they go after a newcomer who has yet to break it big? With 2015 a couple of years away, that's a hard one to call.
But here are our five top choices for Tony Stark's replacement.
1Timothy Olyphant (age 44)
Timothy Olyphant is in no need for a comeback, but he has never made his mark on the big screen quite the way he has on television. After several supporting roles in various movies of the early 2000s, the actor proved himself as a major presence playing the sheriff of Deadwood. A few years later, he took that same swagger and cocksureness to the role of Raylan Givens on Justified, which has grown beyond its cult audience to become a bonafide cultural hit. Timothy Olyphant is able to bring the right amount of lovability to a role, while still being a smarmy bastard when he needs to be. And he has the right look. He's our number one pick for Tony Stark. And he's loved by pretty much every man and woman on the planet. Show us someone who doesn't like Timothy Olyphant, and we'll show you a real (explicative).
Other contenders for the role might include James Franco, Keanu Reeves, Paul Walker, Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, and Robert Pattinson. Who do you want to see in the role? Did we leave anyone important out?