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If Robert Downey, Jr. Leaves, Who Should Star as Iron Man?

Iron Man
Marvel Studios
There's always talk of who will replace a superhero once the current franchise has run its course. From Spider-Man to Batman, we're always speculating about the big names that could swoop in and save the day when it's time for our hero to hang up his armor. But what about 'Iron Man'? Word today is that Marvel plans on continuing the 'Iron Man' films with another actor when Robert Downey, Jr. moves on. But who could possibly fill that shiny armor suit once Robert Downey Jr. calls it quits? We've got some ideas. Sure, they may not be all great ideas, but they're ideas nonetheless.


Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
1

Bradley Cooper

 
 

If you're looking to keep Tony Stark's equal measures of cocky and suave, Bradley Cooper (who was previously in the running for 'Green Lantern') has got you covered. And after his performance in last year's 'Limitless,' (he's fluent in French?) we're sure he could handle unreasonably intelligent, too.

 
Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images
Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images
2

Josh Holloway

 
 

'Lost' star Josh Holloway is devastatingly handsome, knows his way around a good action scene and is practiced at the art of a well-placed zinger (just as Hurley). Is he the first person that comes to mind when you think of someone like Tony Stark who knows their science inside and out? No, but he can learn!

 
Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images
Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images
3

Ethan Hawke

 
 

Ethan Hawke is a little bit of a stretch, we admit, but look at that facial hair! (And in fairness, wasn't Robert Downey, Jr. something of a stretch too?) Hawke is good at playing confident men, and he's been working in sci-fi since he was a kid with Joe Dante's 'Explorers,' and later starring opposite Uma Thurman in 'Gattaca.' And c'mon, that facial hair!

 
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
4

Tom Cruise

 
 

Tom Cruise is a no-brainer. He was long-attached to star in 'Iron Man' until Jon Favreau came aboard and took the franchise in a different direction. The man oozes confidence, looks smart in a suit, and his excellent action work in 'Mission: Impossible' pretty much guarantees a good time. But would he be interested in returning to a franchise that was this successful without him?

 
Ian Gavan, Getty Images
Ian Gavan, Getty Images
5

James Franco

 
 

James Franco is one of the busiest men in Hollywood, starring in everything from soap operas to last year's 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' to next year's 'The Wizard of Oz' prequel, 'Oz, the Great and Powerful.' He seems to have trouble saying no to anything so why not this? He previously starred in another superhero trilogy - Sam Raimi's 'Spider-Man' - but his sense of humor and broad range make him a solid choice.

 
Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images
Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images
6

Josh Brolin

 
 

He's a little bit country, but Josh Brolin could hack it as Tony Stark with his distinguished looks and confident swagger. With his upcoming role in 'Men in Black 3,' Brolin is entering similar territory as 'Iron Man' with a genre mash-up of action, sci-fi, and comedy. But would he want to do it? 'Jonah Hex' may have left a bad comic book taste in his mouth and if filming MIB3 was as bad as everyone says, he might be turned of big-budget epics for good.

 

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