A few months ago rumours were circulating that Tony Stark would be recast in the Marvel Studios movies. Reactions have, understandably, not been very receptive to this idea. Robert Downy Jr has perfectly captured the role of Tony Stark, nobody can deny that. Thankfully he’s now signed on for two more Avengers movies, but nothing else. Will we soon see the end of Iron Man on screen?
With Downy Jr expressing desire to soon stop with the super heroics I can understand Marvel wanting the Iron Man movies to continue despite this, from a financial perspective. Certainly the Avengers franchise will continue beyond a third movie, it simply makes too much money to just go away. However rather than outright replace Downy Jr’s Tony Stark with another actor’s interpretation, I propose a second solution: kill him.
Death is a joke in super hero comics, a revolving door, in the movies that doesn’t have to be the case. Having Tony Stark die in an epic selfless act in Avengers 3 would be the perfect end to his character story-arc. That doesn’t mean the role of Iron Man has to die with him. In the source material others have stepped in to take over the Iron Man role multiple times, so why not in the movies?
Don Cheadle did a fantastic job of playing former War Machine, and now Iron Patriot, pilot Rhodey in Iron Man 3. In interviews since he’s expressed his desire to do more action movies. So Downey Jr wants out, Cheadle wants in. That seems quite a perfect setup. Why not have Rhodey take on the Iron Man mantle in Iron Man 4?
Even if Cheadle has no interest, there’s still more avenues they can take. Pepper got to suit up, albeit briefly, in Iron Man 3. This could be the first step towards putting her in her Rescue armour. Who says that she can’t join the Avengers down the line?
This method could even be expanded to other characters. Captain America could be replaced just as he was in the comics, a direction they’re already potentially heading in with Winter Solider. Hulk could be replaced by Skaar, his son, or even Red Hulk or She-Hulk. The Black Widow mantle could be passed to Yelena, the second Black Widow.
There is a giant collection of Marvel characters that the movies can pull from. Simply recasting is just lazy, why do that when there are compelling stories to tell? Rather than have characters run in circles for sequel after sequel give them a natural story arc that comes to a close.
The Marvel movies could become what the comic universe has never been able to become, a place where death is permanent and characters are in real danger. Where sacrifice has meaning, not just a method for a character to triumphantly return later.
What do you think? Should Tony Stark die or be recast? Should the Avengers franchise continue into the future with the same characters? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter at @PanelsAndPixels.