2) We’ll look at the age factor of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark
3) Compared to Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man
4) Is there a secret Iron Man comic fans know about a possible younger Robert Downey Jr. replacement in future Iron Man Movies?
Especially now that we know there will be Iron Man Movie sequels the question regarding Downey’s age is more valid than ever. I took a poll of Ironman Movie fans on ironmantonystark.com, asking the question, “Do You Think Robert Downey Jr. is Too Old To Play Iron Man?” Their choices were, “No, he’s fine,” “Yes and No, at first I did but he’s grown on me,” or “Yes, they should have gotten someone younger.” Over a thousand people took the poll. A majority 86% of you said he was fine (1,074). Only 9% of you said that at first you thought he was too old but he grew on you (119) and a vastly outnumbered 5% of you said that he was indeed too old (62).
As a result, I think it’s safe to say that most of us Ironman Movie fans (including me) think the cool factor of Robert Downey Jr. far exceeds any disadvantages his age may have in playing the billionaire womanizer technological-genius, Tony Stark aka Iron Man. But what about the future of the Iron Man Movie franchise? We know Robert Downey Jr. is roughly 43 years-old now. The Iron Man Movie sequel (Iron Man 2) will likely come out sometime around 2010 which will put him at 45. I feel very confident the franchise will keep pumping out Ironman movies including The Avengers movie eluded to in the dialog between Colonel Fury (Samuel Jackson) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) after the credits at the end of the Ironman movie 2008. So again we have to look at how long before Downey’s coolness factor starts wearing off and his age becomes a real factor that will eventually turn off fans.
I personally don’t see a problem with his age now or in the future (within reason). Robert Downey Jr. isn’t THAT old first of all. If he was a running back in the NFL I could see this being a major issue, but he’s not…he’s an actor and a darn good one. Before we look at Robert Downey Jr. the Iron Man let’s look at Robert Downey Jr., Tony Stark. The cool thing about hot older guys is that it is very believable that they can get hot younger women (especially add to the equation genius and billionaire). Don’t think so? Well, you’ve either not asked your girlfriend or she’s a good liar. Robert Downey Jr. is without a doubt a hot older guy so the Tony Stark thing is a no-contest so therefore we move on.
However; Robert Downey Jr. the Iron Man is not as easy to swallow. For all intents and purposes Tony Stark is a mortal human being whose bones break as easily as the rest of us. In fact, add his heart issues and alcholohism to the equation and he’s actually less healthy than a lot of us. How long can it pass as somewhat believable he can be bashed against buidings and tumble a mile in the air crashing to the ground and not break a few bones along the way? Well, here’s where your faith in Stark technology is tested. Most of us will simply say, “It’s the Iron Man armor!” Because the suit seems to border on alien technology that most of us can’t understand we can have faith that somehow the suit requires very little stamina out of our hero so age must not be a factor. The rest of us will simply require (probably you 5-percenters) they need someone of extraordinary strength and stamina that can play the role to make it believable enough. Yes, it’s a comic book movie but most have to agree that there has to be some relationship to reality we can latch on to. (Don’t get me started on the Nuclear Bomb / Indiana Jones-in-Refrigerator scene regarding the new Indiana Jones film…nearly ruined the movie for me it was so way out there).
The future of the Ironman Movie franchise will be with Robert Downey Jr. for quite some time so he has no worries at all and if the poll is any indicator most of us will love every minute of it. If anything happens to Mr. Cool himself well the folks at Marvel I’m sure have a back-up plan. To support that notion for those of us who are avid readers of the Iron Man comics we know a little secret. ‘Old man Stark’ dies. “What?” you say. That’s right, he dies. At a point in the future “old Tony’s” mind gets taken over by Immortus and young Tony Stark travels to the future and faces his older self. The shock ‘old Tony Stark’ experiences upon seeing his younger self wakes him out of the mind control of Immortus and ‘old Tony’ sacrifices himself to save the day. Who picks up the gauntlet? That’s right, a young Tony Stark. There’s your seigway into the next generation of Iron Man Movies with a fresh young actor that will probably annoy the hell out of me.