With Robert Downey Jr.’s recent bout of doubt concerning his future with Marvel Studios, we were bound to ask the question, who could possibly replace him as the great cynical Shellhead? Now, before you storm the mighty $425/month basement suite of UTF (otherwise known as the “haha, you’re broke apartment” by our douchey slumlord), allow me to explain our selection. The first two mighty replacements are based on a world where Robert Downey Jr will remain in the Marvel Universe as Tony Stark, but he’ll be replaced as the primary protagonist of the Iron Man series. And those final 3 are based on Kevin Feige’s idea to “Bond it”, as in replace the actor, but keep the same continuity, so we don’t need to reboot the series over, and over, and over, and over.
Alright, now that you’ve got a handle on our selection technique, here’s our official list of the TOP 5 REPLACEMENTS FOR ROBERT DOWNEY JR.
In a world where RDJ is still Stark, but not the lead hero…
1) Gwyneth Paltrow
As much as I may dislike Paltrow for her “snobby” ways, she’s my #1 choice to replace Robert Downey Jr. in future Iron Man flicks. Can you imagine Tony Stark sitting at home, an ice chilled single malt in one hand and a cigar in the other, pissed because Pepper missed yet another date night (which the couple had clearly set aside in their schedule… especially after she missed the one last week). Meanwhile, Ms. Potts is in the middle of a dogfight above Los Angeles, battling a rogue Starktech suit which has suddenly become sentient… Ultron!
Alright, that example might be a bit too specific, and a bit too bizarre, but the whole appeal of Paltrow as Iron Man (or… should I say Iron Woman?) is that it will flip the entire archetype on its head, which was teased in that final fight in IRON MAN 3.
2) Don Cheadle
If I had to choose only one complaint from my dumpster truck full of Iron Man 3 whining, it would have to be the lackluster use of James “Iron Patriot” Rhodes. In the first flick, his character was given ample amount of screen time, cementing his relationship with the unbalanced and poorly tempered Tony Stark. And in the sequel, we finally saw Rhodes in his War Machine armor, fighting in a balls to the wall battle alongside Iron Man in the film’s finale. Then along comes Iron Man 3… and Rhodey is relegated to occasional drinking buddy and incompetent Stark armor pilot (how many times can he get kicked out of his own suit?).
Let’s give Rhodey some time to shine as the lead in the next Iron Man movie, and RDJ can be his annoying, nagging, technology-friendly bud.
If they “James Bond” it…
3) Jon Hamm
We tapped into the universe’s unfailing love for resident alcoholic-in-chief Jon Hamm for our April Fools’ prank this year, and leagues of irate fanboys and fangirls jumped into the fray to support this selection. There were, of course, a few diehard fans who opposed our false selection, but besides their vociferous reaction to replacing Robert Downey Jr., everyone pretty much agreed that Jon Hamm is a damn fine substitute. After all, his performance in Mad Men is much more in line with the classic iteration of the Gold and Red Avenger.
4) James Franco
I can’t even lie… I only chose Franco because of this suave picture of him next to a scary bear. He looks pretty damn dapper, right? Would you dare say he looks Tony Stark-esque? After proving himself capable as a leading man in the past few years (between all the limb cutting and inconvenient wizardry), I’d happily nominate him to the role of Stark-meister.
Although, out of everyone in this list, I don’t think he would make a satisfying replacement to RDJ. Everyone would say “He’s pretty damn good at killing people with that Unibeam, but he’s no Robert Doweny Jr.”
5) Bradley Cooper
This one was a bit too easy. Bradley Cooper is a sarcastic, cynical, suave dickhead, and he’d be a perfect replacement for RDJ. Although, I would much prefer if Marvel Studios and their head honcho Kevin Feige selected Cooper to introduce a new hero into their cinematic universe. Doctor Strange, perhaps? How about Daredevil? Dare I say… Moon Knight?
Well, this bit of fan-casting is as far as our imagination was willing to go. Did you have anyone else in mind? Sound off with your ideas below!
BTW, I’m sure this wonderful fella is completely unfazed by our speculation: