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Robert Downey Jr. talks Chris Evans as Cap and getting too old for Marvel

03.25.2014

Robert Downey Jr. is one of the coolest guys in Hollywood. Part of that is because he's "been there." And, I mean that in both the best and worst of circumstances. He's kind of the Yoda of his era, having weathered the storm both personally and professionally, eventually becoming a kind of Cinderella story when he took on the mantle of Tony Stark in 2008's IRON MAN. Now, he's the ringleader of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in many ways and it's great to see him embrace the role he's helped define, not only as a character, but as an esteemed actor playing a superhero, which is something that would've gotten you laughed out of Hollywood not too long ago (unless you were Christopher Reeve, of course). Speaking to Variety in a little Q&A, Downey Jr. talked a bit about his next step in Phase Two of the MCU with THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, his championing of Chris Evans as Captain America, and getting too old to be a superhero, and more.

On urging Chris Evans to take the role of Captain America initially:

There was so much riding on (playing the part of) what essentially could be considered the squarest superhero in history. It was probably the most risky of the franchises we launched. I say “we,” like I’m a company man, which I like to think I am. By the way, I’m a fan of his.

On how many Marvel movies he has left in him and how his age stacks up to the rest of the MCU cast:

The smart money is you have to look at everybody’s age. I’ll put myself at the top of the list. Sooner or later, they’ve got to start over and get somebody young. I’m not there with them yet. It really is the closest thing to being a beloved contract player with a big old-timey studio that there is right now. When you really think about it at the end of the day, these films are entertainment largely driven by young folks. There is something very honorable about that. I run into kids wearing “Captain America” masks. My kid believes that Captain America is real.

On the downside of playing a superhero, as well as its perks:

It’s kind of like having a really cool TV job. They are always hoping they don’t get picked up for another season; or they are wondering if they’re going to get picked up for another season; or they have done so many seasons, and they are already sick of doing the show, but the show is so big, it’s working well for them. Any of those three things is better than calling your agent and saying, ‘Hey, anything going on? It’s pilot season.’ ”

On THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON:

This one is a very ambitious sequel. If you read it, it’s dense, it’s smart. Joss (Whedon) is a really smart guy. My 2-year-old is crazy about Hawkeye, and I think Jeremy (Renner) has a lot to do with the plot. There’s always so many plates to spin to get these things half-right, and I’m really excited about this one.

Downey Jr. has made a hell of a name for himself in just his four appearances as Iron Man alone and it feels like he's very aware of that and is riding the wave of this gig to the end. He's 48 years old now, which still gives him time for at least a few more turns as the Iron Avenger, but certainly there's a limit. Later this year, Downey Jr. will make an appearance in Jon Favreau's CHEF and stars in the crime drama THE JUDGE this fall before showing up as Tony Stark once again in THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON next year on May 1, 2015.

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Source: Variety

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8:31AM on 03/27/2014

Don't forget

He has another franchise under his belt:
SHERLOCK HOLMES !
He has another franchise under his belt:
SHERLOCK HOLMES !
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7:46PM on 03/26/2014
I'm totally fine with, providing he's interested, having Downey Jr. step back as "Iron Man" but maintain his role as Stark, where he takes a more hands on approach with S.H.I.E.L.D (not like it's unprecedented, he did become the director of S.H.I.E.L.D in the comics), and passing on the mantle of Iron Man to someone younger. This way, we wouldn't have to reboot the whole continuity.
I'm totally fine with, providing he's interested, having Downey Jr. step back as "Iron Man" but maintain his role as Stark, where he takes a more hands on approach with S.H.I.E.L.D (not like it's unprecedented, he did become the director of S.H.I.E.L.D in the comics), and passing on the mantle of Iron Man to someone younger. This way, we wouldn't have to reboot the whole continuity.
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+1
10:20PM on 03/25/2014

so Avengers 3...

could totally end with Thanos using the Infinity Gauntlet to reboot the entire marvel cinematic universe. right?
could totally end with Thanos using the Infinity Gauntlet to reboot the entire marvel cinematic universe. right?
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2:08AM on 03/28/2014
Oh god, I hope not. Their penchant for resetting continuity is one of the few things I despise about Marvel comics.
Oh god, I hope not. Their penchant for resetting continuity is one of the few things I despise about Marvel comics.
8:58PM on 03/25/2014
He knows how to play to the fans and always looks like he's enjoying himself with Iron Man, when some other actors might become jaded and switch to "phone it in mode" at that point. I think every actor dreams of having both an Oscar and an action figure in his/her likeness, and I'm pretty sure Downey, Jr. will grab a hold of that little statuette sooner rather than later.
He knows how to play to the fans and always looks like he's enjoying himself with Iron Man, when some other actors might become jaded and switch to "phone it in mode" at that point. I think every actor dreams of having both an Oscar and an action figure in his/her likeness, and I'm pretty sure Downey, Jr. will grab a hold of that little statuette sooner rather than later.
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4:20PM on 03/25/2014
RDJ is enjoyable as hell. He's somehow able to snark at almost everything while retaining a certain charm and likability, which is a must for Iron Man. He will be a very tough act to replace.
RDJ is enjoyable as hell. He's somehow able to snark at almost everything while retaining a certain charm and likability, which is a must for Iron Man. He will be a very tough act to replace.
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3:41PM on 03/25/2014
He's too cool a dude and too perfect for Tony Stark. I feel like, when they eventually replace him, because we all know it's going to happen, it will end up being like Batman. We'll get a couple of lame casting choices, or ones subpar to Downey Jr. and then we won't get another good fit for Tony Stark until the franchise gets rebooted in 10-20 years. Then again, the whole MCU tie in thing may run it's course by the time he retires.
He's too cool a dude and too perfect for Tony Stark. I feel like, when they eventually replace him, because we all know it's going to happen, it will end up being like Batman. We'll get a couple of lame casting choices, or ones subpar to Downey Jr. and then we won't get another good fit for Tony Stark until the franchise gets rebooted in 10-20 years. Then again, the whole MCU tie in thing may run it's course by the time he retires.
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2:21PM on 03/25/2014
I think it would be a smart move by Marvel to quit while they're ahead and not do anymore Iron Man solo films. Just have Tony Stark show up in The Avengers from now on. That way you can capitalize on RDJ in the role for a long time to come. Even if he gets too old for the action sequences, you can the character present as an older hero helping to usher in new groups of heroes.

To speak somewhat realistically, what Marvel has going on with their MCU does have an expiry date. The Superhero
I think it would be a smart move by Marvel to quit while they're ahead and not do anymore Iron Man solo films. Just have Tony Stark show up in The Avengers from now on. That way you can capitalize on RDJ in the role for a long time to come. Even if he gets too old for the action sequences, you can the character present as an older hero helping to usher in new groups of heroes.

To speak somewhat realistically, what Marvel has going on with their MCU does have an expiry date. The Superhero genre will eventually grow stale (as all sub-genres do), so might as well keep RDJ as long as the superheroes are able to capitalize in the box office. I only say this because I'd rather see Marvel continue a progressive story rather than recast people as they get too old for the role and have to reboot characters all the time in an effort to keep the same characters on screen.
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8:30AM on 03/27/2014
After the events of Winter Soldier, I could REALLY see STARK (NOT Iron Man) get a more important role in the MCU. That would be logical...
After the events of Winter Soldier, I could REALLY see STARK (NOT Iron Man) get a more important role in the MCU. That would be logical...
1:17PM on 03/25/2014
DC is doing old Batman, what's wrong with old Iron Man?
DC is doing old Batman, what's wrong with old Iron Man?
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11:36AM on 03/25/2014
Downey Jr is my favorite actor of all time and the fact that he has gone through the best and worst of times really shows how great the guy is and how talented and versatile the guy is when it comes ro playing any characrer; minor or big. The guy really is one of the best actors alive and in the business today. There is no one else that could play the role as amazing as he can and the day he doesn't don the iron suit anymore is going to be a disappointing day. He is one of the best, if not the
Downey Jr is my favorite actor of all time and the fact that he has gone through the best and worst of times really shows how great the guy is and how talented and versatile the guy is when it comes ro playing any characrer; minor or big. The guy really is one of the best actors alive and in the business today. There is no one else that could play the role as amazing as he can and the day he doesn't don the iron suit anymore is going to be a disappointing day. He is one of the best, if not the best casting for comic book film ever.

Can't wait to see Age of Ultron. It really is the biggest sequel ever to any first film in any franchise.
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12:32PM on 03/25/2014
He is a better supporting actor than a lead. His best performance is from zodiac.
He is a better supporting actor than a lead. His best performance is from zodiac.
1:04PM on 03/25/2014
you're kind of an idiot Van-damage82 Downey is awesome as a lead and supporting actor. Kiss Bang Bang he was awesome in, and Ironman he was awesome in, and Sherlock holmes he was great in
you're kind of an idiot Van-damage82 Downey is awesome as a lead and supporting actor. Kiss Bang Bang he was awesome in, and Ironman he was awesome in, and Sherlock holmes he was great in
3:45PM on 03/25/2014
In agreement with duyeager and the_soloist, van-damage clearly doesn't have a scooby and i seriously hope with the typo name you ain't a massive jean claude fan cos that just makes everything you say even funnier. I personally would like to see more of RDJ in Sherlock Holmes mode, really enjoyed the last one and given the bibliography it's like bond with so many more stories to tell. I don't particularly like re-casting as I prefer an actors continuity to be felt with the same actor (the hulk
In agreement with duyeager and the_soloist, van-damage clearly doesn't have a scooby and i seriously hope with the typo name you ain't a massive jean claude fan cos that just makes everything you say even funnier. I personally would like to see more of RDJ in Sherlock Holmes mode, really enjoyed the last one and given the bibliography it's like bond with so many more stories to tell. I don't particularly like re-casting as I prefer an actors continuity to be felt with the same actor (the hulk being a case in point) I'm glad Renners back and seems to be getting more air time this time
7:18PM on 03/25/2014
Hes good in zodiac and iron man 1, thats it!! Every other role he has been in sucks major cock!
I am a huge jean fan, he is a very underated actor. Have you even seen JCVD? Great, great film!

Hes good in zodiac and iron man 1, thats it!! Every other role he has been in sucks major cock!
I am a huge jean fan, he is a very underated actor. Have you even seen JCVD? Great, great film!

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