There I said it. Marvel can’t kill Tony Stark aka the Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sure he can take a leave of absence but Iron Man can’t ever be killed off. Iron Man kicked off the MCU back in 2008 starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Gwyneth Paltrow as secretary turned girlfriend Pepper Potts, Terrence Howard as Stark’s buddy Rhodey and Jeff Bridges as the evil corporate figure Obadiah Stane. Iron Man garnered rave reviews with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 94%, which is the second highest rated MCU Rotten Tomatoes score only to be beaten by Black Panther’s 97%. For Disney and Marvel, Iron Man proved to be profitable with worldwide theatre sales of $585,174,222 against a production budget of $140,000,000. Without Iron Man’s successful entry into this cinematic universe the MCU probably would not have existed today. For all of this I give you the reasons why Marvel can’t kill Iron Man in the MCU.
Fans have been with Iron Man since the beginning of the MCU. We’ve all experienced Tony Starks story through the first three phases of the MCU from Iron Man 1 to Avengers Infinity War. We’ve swaddled him as an adopted baby, watched him through his growing pains and carried him off to college. To a certain extent Iron Man is the MCU or he is at least king of it. In a way Iron Man is to MCU as Rick Grimes is to The Walking Dead or Jack Sparrow to the Pirates of the Caribbean. Without Jack Sparrow no one will want to see the Pirate movies, kids will no longer dress up as pirates for Halloween. Disney revenues will dip, mass hysteria raining cats and dogs. We are hearing tons of fan backlash of the ending of Rick Grimes character in the upcoming season 9 of the Walking Dead. Fan threating to stop watching stating the show is way off the rails of the comic books. These characters carry the story. Without them leaves a void nearly nothing or no one else can fill.
Tony Stark is a mentor character and those need to stick around. Spider-Man has just gotten started and Spidey’s main connection in the MCU is Iron Man. So in a way if you don’t have Iron Man you don’t have Spider-Man. Iron Man needs to watch Spidey’s evolution alongside the fans. We all want to see the Spider-Man of the comics that becomes a tech company CEO just like Tony Stark.
Actors come in go whether they get tired of the role or age out of it. Yes, we all say RDJ is Tony Stark and Tony Stark is RDJ. No one wants to see Robert Downey Jr. go, my self-included but I am willing to accept RDJ’s retirement when he is ready and move on to the next actor to take on the iconic roll. We’ve seen Batman done successfully by several actors now from Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale and Ben Affleck. Yes, I said it George Clooney was great as well. He suffered from a bad bat suit nipples and story. Back on topic here, we don’t want to see RDJ go but we are willing to accept new actors if needed and move on.
Iron Man makes Disny/Marvel money. It’s really that simple, the well water hasn’t run dry so why leave it? Fans still want it and will still fill the seats of theatres to see another Iron Man regardless of how poorly Marvel scripts the villain, here’s looking at you Whiplash and Mandarin. As long as the story is engaging, visuals water our eyes and the balance of humor and seriousness continue, sign me up to watch the next 15 Iron Man installments.
So there you have it my reasons on keeping Iron Man active in the MCU. He is the MCU and has been there since the beginning. He is a mentor to the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Robin needs Batman and Spider-Man needs Iron Man. Fans will accept a new actor in the role when RDJ bows out, believe me he is fantastic as Iron Man but so is the Marvel character itself. Lastly, Iron Man makes Marvel Money and who doesn’t love money. That's why Marvel can't kill Iron Man.