We’re only one episode into The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s sophomore streaming series has already put forth the interesting notion that Captain America is more of a symbol than a person. Indeed, Sam Wilson was reluctant to take the shield because he didn’t feel he could follow in Steve Rogers’ footsteps, only for the government to essentially flip him the bird and hand it over to John Walker by the time the credits rolled.
It’s an interesting theory, and one that’s set to become a recurring theme throughout Phase Four. Yelena Belova is poised to take up the mantle of Black Widow, while Clint Barton is going to train protege Kate Bishop to follow in his footsteps as Hawkeye and Jane Foster will wield Mjolnir in Thor: Love and Thunder.
However, one of the franchise’s marquee names that can’t be replaced is Iron Man. War Machine and Ironheart will get their own shows on Disney Plus, but you can guarantee that nobody’s going to step directly into Tony Stark’s shoes. In fact, Chris Evans doesn’t think the role should ever be recast no matter how long the MCU may exist, such is the definitive stamp that Robert Downey Jr. put on the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.
The actor was asked in a recent interview which of the other Avengers he would have loved to play, and after naming Iron Man, he made his opinion clear that he believes the role should begin and end on the big screen with Downey Jr.
“You know, I’ll say Downey, Iron Man. The paychecks would be nice. But just the role is, he is the engine, he’s the life. But I suppose that’s kind of signing up for failure. I don’t think there’s anything anyone on this planet could do that would somehow improve upon what Downey’s done. I don’t consider that to be a role that’s gonna be like a James Bond or a Superman or Batman that somehow other people get a bite of the apple. He’s Iron Man, the end.”
There was talk once upon a time of Iron Man becoming a legacy role like Bond or Batman that would be recast regularly over the years and decades, but it’s pretty clear at this stage that fans wouldn’t buy anyone other than RDJ under the armor.