Whether he comes to an agreement to extend his current contract or not, Robert Downey Jr. is going to quit playing Tony Stark at some point. That’s just a fact we’re going to have to accept. Similarly, Marvel is going to keep making Movies with Iron Man in it even after Downey is done. It makes too much sense, and by that I also mean dollars and cents, to quit until people stop caring.
So with that in mind, people are going to speculate about what Kevin Feige and company are going to do once RDJ walks away, and tha latest rumors are great examples of how the internet loves taking points of information and then drawing lines between them, even when there’s no real reason for doing so. Sites are actually reporting that Ty Simpkins (who you’ll see next summer in Jurassic World, unless you don’t see that movie for some reason) is going to take over as Iron Man for a hypothetical Iron Man 4 in 2019.
Their reasoning? Well, Simpkins was already in Iron Man 3 as Harley Keener, the kid who helped Tony get his act, and armor, back together. Maybe Tony will hand off the identity to him. Or maybe Marvel will just cast Simpkins as a younger Tony, since he looks like him. No joke, someone actually wrote that.
Considering Simpkins is just 14 now, and would be only 17 or 18 if/when they got around to shooting an Iron Man movie for 2019, I’d be willing to bet my substantial Iron Man comic and toy collection that there are no plans or discussions on having him in the suit for Marvel’s Phase Four. Let me tell you a little story …
Once upon a time, during a dark era in Avengers comic book history, Iron Man turned evil thanks to some chicanery by Immortus. The Avengers managed to use a time machine to gather a much younger Tony from an alternate timeline to try stopping him, though in the ensuing battle, young Tony’s heart was damaged,, meaning he now needed an Iron Man chestplate to survive. Yep, just like Iron Man’s original origin, except 50 times as dumb.
Anyway, the older Tony sacrificed himself to save his younger version, and Teen Tony was an actual thing for a while. And it was awful. There’s no way Marvel puts us through that in movie form.
I know Marvel plays the long game better than anyone, which encourages people to think the company has everything planned out until the end of time and backup plans for its backup plans, but the extremely long and drawn out casting process for Doctor Strange suggests that sometimes we’re giving those folks way too much credit for thinking ahead. No one has any idea who’s going to be inside the Iron Man suit after Avengers: Infinity War unless Downey himself has already decided he’s going to continue on. Any other rumor or report is just wishful thinking. Or not, in this case.
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