Not if director Joss Whedon has anything to say about it. As the man behind the mega-success of The Avengers, Whedon has stated, in fairly unequivocal terms, that he will not make The Avengers 2 without Robert Downey Jr.
Now, it’s not like the future of the franchise is in serious jeopardy. Downey Jr.’s co-stars are simply chafing a little bit under their pay scale. The cast wants more money, and with Downey Jr. out of his contract with Marvel, he’s been supporting them, saying that he will not return as Iron Man in The Avengers 2 if Marvel does not start paying his friends.
Whedon’s attitude is that no one can replace RDJ in The Avengers 2, or anywhere else. Here’s what he had to say:
He is Iron Man. He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making ‘Avengers 2’ without him, nor do I think I’ll be called upon to do that. I don’t think it’s in my interest, Marvel’s interest, or his interest, and I think everything will be fine.
Maybe Whedon should not have used James Bond as an example, given the number of times the actor has been replaced in that franchise, but the sentiment is there. With Marvel producer Kevin Feige flexing his muscles and claiming that Downey Jr. is not irreplacable, it’s good to hear the director of the franchise making some non-categorical statements.
In other ‘Joss Whedon is becoming the coolest person on the planet’ news, Whedon has also said that he wants more heroines in superhero-land:
Toymakers will tell you they won’t sell enough, and movie people will point to the two terrible superheroine movies that were made and say, You see? It can’t be done. It’s stupid, and I’m hoping The Hunger Games will lead to a paradigm shift. It’s frustrating to me that I don’t see anybody developing one of these movies. It actually pisses me off. My daughter watched ‘The Avengers’ and was like, ‘My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,’ and I thought, Yeah, of course they were.
BAM! Thank you, Mr. Whedon, for striking a blow for kickass chicks. Black Widow was one of the best, and most surprising, parts of The Avengers. With The Scarlet Witch confirmed to be in the script for The Avengers 2, and Whedon’s dedication to bringing more tough women to the screen, maybe we are actually moving away from top-heavy damsels in distress. Now if we can just get reporters to stop asking Scarlet Johansson if she’s wearing any underwear, we’ll be all set.
Can we just pause for a moment to give some serious respect to both Robert Downey Jr. and Joss Whedon? Two major forces in the superhero franchise world and they’re using their powers for good. I think Tony Stark would be proud.
Source: The Playlist