5 Actors Who Could Replace Robert Downey Jr. as ‘Iron Man’ in 2016

We look at 5 actors who might be perfect in assuming the role of billionaire Tony Stark in this popular Marvel Franchise.

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.

Back in April of 2012, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige compared the role of Tony Stark and his Iron Man alter ego to that of James Bond, saying Marvel plans to continue in that same format.

"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."

With Robert Downey Jr. already planning to leave Iron Man behind for more artistic endeavors, Marvel is most likely planning their next move, and eyeballing there choice for 'who's got next'.

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 as Iron Man

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).

2Leonardo DiCaprio (age 38)

Leonardo DiCaprio as Iron Man

He looks the most like Tony Stark out of our current crop of high profile actors who might be considered for the role. He looks more like Tony Stark than Robert Downey Jr.. And he, too, has proven himself very capable of playing cocky without becoming too unlikable. While Leonardo DiCaprio is in no need of a hit movie or a comeback, the actor has yet to play a superhero, or become part of the Disney family, which most of his peers have. If he wanted to take part in the genre, there wouldn't be a better role for him. And he's likely Disney's top choice, too. This franchise is his for the taking, but as someone who actively seeks out challenging and artistic films, he might find the role of a playboy billionaire who plays with robots beneath him. Iron Man wants and needs someone like Leonardo DiCaprio, but is the role below his pay grade at this point?

3Jon Hamm (age 42)

Jon Hamm as Iron Man

Like Timothy Olyphant, Jon Hamm has made a name for himself on TV, starring in the hit drama Mad Men, but he's never taken that Don Drapper swagger to the big screen. The role of Iron Man would serve to bring his gentlemanly demeanor and arrogant attitude to a wider demographic. With slicked back hair and a pencil thin mustache, he would serve to bring a more retro quality to the character, harkening back to Stark's roots as a hero of the 60s. He also looks good swinging a glass of Scotch at his side, and might be one of the few actors able to pull off the alcoholism aspects of Tony Stark in an intelligent, humorous manner that won't weight the character down and scare him away from kids. He has a dad-like quality that will serve the character well. Though, he might be a little too sexy for the role of Iron Man. That could turn fanboys away.

4Colin Farrell (age 36)

Colin Farrell as Iron Man

Colin Farrell probably has the most in common with Robert Downey Jr. He's no stranger to substance abuse, and has been struggling to make it in Hollywood for years. Despite headlining quite a few mainstream movies, he's never had the hit his talent promises, nor has he exactly become a household name. He needs a big movie like Iron Man at this point in his career, and he's just the right age. He's done his best work in quirky independent crime comedies, and the character of Tony Stark is capable of bringing those same attributes into a superhero movie. Colin Farrell might be an unconventional choice, but Marvel's choices seem to be unconventional most of the time. He'd have to lose his Irish brogue, which is never fun, but the man can pull off a mean moustache, and he's good with a quick quip. He also knows how to rock cocky yet lovable, which is probably the main attribute a casting director will look for when trying to fill the shoes of Tony Stark.

5Norman Reedus (age 44)

Norman Reedus as Iron Man

This is Marvel thinking way outside the box. Norman Reedus had a large cult following with the film Boondock Saints before becoming everyone's favorite zombie slayer on The Walking Dead. He is beloved by millions of fanboys, as well as moms and kids alike. Taking on Iron Man might push him to the next level. Though, the actor hasn't proven he can do comedy just yet. That might be okay. Maybe we want someone who brings a slightly different take to the character than Robert Downey Jr.. Maybe this Tony Stark is a little more serious. A little less assured of himself. He is more flawed. Norman Reedus has the ability to play to the strengths of the character, while also bringing in certain elements that would stand him apart from the crowd. People are ready to see him take on a bigger role. Do you think this one would serve him well? His on-screen brother Michael Rooker just landed a lead role in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. Maybe Norman's next in line...Or then again, maybe Submariner is more his speed.

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?

Iron Man was released May 2nd, 2008 and stars Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leslie Bibb, Shaun Toub, Faran Tahir, Clark Gregg. The film is directed by Jon Favreau.

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Comments (131)

  1. Emi Chen

    I love RDJ, but if there is a replace, I will say Jeffery Dean Morgan. He is tall and sexy. Have the look fit for Iron man.

    1 year agoby @Emi-ChenFlag

  2. Nelson Lim

    f*ck no!

    1 year agoby @Nelson-LimFlag

  3. Mannix

    Robert Downey Jr.= Irreplacable as Iron Man. But if they must replace him, for me Karl Urban is it.....he is the next Tony Stark...period! I just can't even picture anyone else.

    2 years agoby @MannixFlag

  4. Isa Dukmenić

    NO WAY!!!!! Robert Downey Jr. or no Iron Man. To put this losers at Tony Starks place phhhh

    2 years agoby @Isa-DukmeniFlag

  5. Craig Johnson

    My vote is for Jon Hamm. Everyone else would be better suited as a villain or other character but NOT Tony Stark.

    2 years agoby @Craig-JohnsonFlag

  6. Anna Shuford

    Not a chance. Sorry, but none of these guys could be Tony Stark. RDJ FTW!

    2 years agoby @Anna-ShufordFlag

  7. MarkMarino

    I go with Collin Farell

    2 years agoby @markmarinoFlag

  8. Jehan Ilustthugaim

    If they made standalone film about Tony Stark and his alcoholism (a proper dark story line not Iron Man 2) Norman Reedus could probably fit the bill?

    2 years agoby @Jehan-IlustthugaimFlag

  9. Tyler D Klear

    Jeffrey Dean Morgan or Collin Ferrell could keep up the Storyline but Downey = Stark...

    2 years agoby @Tyler-D-KlearFlag

  10. Kirk Mailloux

    Timothy Olyphant and Jon Hamm are the two best choices on this list

    2 years agoby @Kirk-MaillouxFlag

  11. Joe Cucci

    I never comment on blogs or articles, but this is disgusting. God awful picks. Lucky I had a wastebasket next to me while reading this to catch all of my vomit. Clearly these actors were not selected by fanboys, and if they were, you're a disgrace and I hope a wookie tears your arms from your sockets and beats you with them. They've been known to do that, you know.

    2 years agoby @Joe-CucciFlag

  12. David Hill

    josh brolin, would have said tim roth what with his witty humour(as in lie to me)but unfortunatly he was in the incredible hulk, Jake Gyllenhaal ect...tbh tho..no1 will EVER be perfect for iron man except RDJ

    2 years agoby @David-HillFlag

  13. Semro

    Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man, Iron Man is Robert Downey Jr.
    Stop this madness...

    2 years agoby @semroFlag

  14. Keith Beaumont

    Wrong. Only Karl Urban has the chops for it. He can do bold, charming, and quirky better than anyone, even RDJ who I absolutely love.

    2 years agoby @Keith-BeaumontFlag

  15. Albert Kellison

    I think Olyphant would make a good Iron Man, it obviously wouldn't be the same without RDJ, but i loved him in Live Free or Die Hard. I would also like to Reedus as Tony Stark, i have liked him since Blade 2, and i love him on The Walking Dead. It would be a stretch to do that, but i think that movie would be a little better when its a little more seriouse

    2 years agoby @Albert-KellisonFlag

  16. NathStark

    Nobody can replace RDJ, he is Iron Man

    2 years agoby @nathaly-paradaFlag

  17. Jennie Ratanasiripong

    nobody in this world could replace Robert Downey Jr. NOBODY CAN!!

    2 years agoby @Jennie-RatanasiripongFlag

  18. Van Berry Miller

    What about Tom Cruise? The reason why I say this is 'cause there's ALREADY a pic of him as Tony Stark on the Web (Though the dude may be too old at this point!).

    2 years agoby @Van-Berry-MillerFlag

  19. Akshit Parikh

    no one cane take place of robert

    2 years agoby @Akshit-ParikhFlag

  20. Akshit Parikh

    wo wo wo!!!! what a silly actors are they. robert is only the best.
    come come!!! robert dont leaves marvel company.

    2 years agoby @Akshit-ParikhFlag

  21. Sergio Salazar

    Olyphant or Jon Hamm. Please don't let it be Colin Farrell. Olyphant or Hamm would probably show up to work and wouldn't be a liability than Farrell. In other words, both of those actors would be grateful the opportunity. Colin Farrell is overrated, have any of his movies made money? Total Recall, Swat...anything?

    2 years agoby @Sergio-SalazarFlag

  22. Sean

    @undeadslayer4 I know! I think that any of the upcoming marvel movies that he is expected to be in, would not make any money with out him and they would not be good either if he was to no longer be in any more of the marvel movies.

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  23. Sean

    @undeadslayer4 Yeah, no one can replace him. I hope that he doesn't stop playing Tony Stark for a long time!

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  24. undeadslayer4

    @themoviefanatic that no one can replace jr

    2 years agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  25. Writer220

    the main reason why he's giving it up is because he hurt his hand. What a Big baby

    As for who will take it up the role, that will be a big guess and the question. Who else has these attributes?

    2 years agoby @writer220Flag

  26. undeadslayer4

    screw u downy jr u cant retire no one can replace wtf why did this have to happen u have sherlock holmes to finish ur not done yet
    @Dale-Burnett-11770456 i agree with u dont retire change ur mind
    @themoviefanatic so do i

    2 years agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  27. MediaCritiquer.com

    The choice is obvious. Farrell.

    2 years agoby @MediaCritiquer-comFlag

  28. Blesson George

    Robert Downey Jr will always be the best Iron Man ever but I would love Timothy Olyphant to be a superhero. He would be pretty damn awesome. I'm just not sure if Iron Man is the right role for him. He could maybe replace wolverine or Mr. Fantastic

    2 years agoby @Blesson-GeorgeFlag

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