Robert Downey Jr. is NOT coming back to play Tony Stark. You can light a votive, say a Rosary, and even try to appeal to the ghosts of Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby to try to convince him to return. Any effort to get Mr. Downey back into the suit will be in vain. However, Ben Affleck is free.
With that harsh truth addressed, we can now address the elephant in the room. Marvel Studios needs to make a decision on who replaces a man who has been the face of the MCU since 2008.
This is a very delicate situation. Iron Man isn’t only the most famous Avenger, he is a complex character who has an emotional range that very few characters in the MCU have.
The Maverick Avenger
The other Avengers are stoic, serious, there to get the job done. Iron Man just wanted to get the job done so he could get back to whatever party he was forced to leave and take the cute blonde he was talking to out to a late dinner.
You need an actor with gusto and a good game face. You need Ben Affleck.
Warner’s Handling of Affleck Was Shameful
Most of us here at Geek News Now are of the belief that Ben Affleck got a raw deal as the Caped Crusader. Our own Johnny Lynch even wrote a recent article about it.
The truth is that like almost everything on their lot , Warner fails to realize the potential of what they once had.
In Affleck They had a two time Academy Award winner and a gifted actor who has the ability to write, and help out with script issues. He could have been a major asset.
They could have made the transition from the Nolan/Bale era and given the franchise a new identity.
Batman films throughout the years have been all but tailor made to fit their actor’s personalities.
- The Keaton Era was Dark, yet whimsical.
- The Kilmer/Clooney era almost certainly had movies in their somewhere deep under those hideous sets. Nobody really knows what they were or what message they conveyed, except for Joel Schumacher. He will take that secret to the grave.
- The Christian Bale Era was dark, gritty, and depressing. The Viewer was kept on edge throughout the entire series.
A Ben Affleck feature film probably would have been lighter and more thoughtful, focusing more on the Detective aspect of things.
Sadly, we will never know. Joss Whedon made Affleck’s life so miserable on the set of “Justice League” that Affleck, who is a recovering alcoholic; relapsed.
His life was spiraling out of control. So he did the right thing for his family, and himself. He walked away from one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood.
Warner’s Loss Could Be Disney’s Gain
With all due respect to Mr. Affleck, his first tour at Marvel Studios had a result that left a lot to be desired.
Daredevil was a corny mess, and the script was quite literally the only thing on earth that could prevent Michael Clarke Duncan from appearing to be intimidating.
However, Marvel Studios has a knack for finding a home for wayward actors in this fickle genre.
- Chris Evans portrayed seven different comic book characters of film before landing the role of Captain America.
- Michael B. Jordan was plucked out of the disastrous rubble that was the 2015 installment of “Fantastic Four” was dusted off, polished, and delivered an amazing performance as Killmonger in “Black Panther”
- Josh Brolin was actually brilliant as both Cable and Thanos. This was after his disastrous turn as Jonah Hex.
- Michael Keaton switched sides, both corporately and morally when he went from playing Batman, to portraying the vulture.
- Who can forget Ryan Reynolds. You can forget about the “Green Lantern” movie. a lot of people did. That disaster was preceded by an even bigger disaster, when for some inexplicable reason; FOX decided to remove Deadpool’s speech, and gave him the ability to teleport. Reynolds would go on to redeem himself… As a corrected version of Wade Wilson.
The precedence is there. Of course it doesn’t always work. Just ask Halle Berry. That doesn’t mean that Marvel Studios shouldn’t make a pass at Ben Affleck though.
He is an immense talent, and Marvel can and will give him the respect that he deserves and the motivation he needs to succeed.
Fan Backlash Will Subside
Every time a big name character gets a new actor, fans always resort to the worst case scenario. Over fifty years ago, nobody thought that Sean Connery could be replaced as James Bond.
Leonard Nimoy’s role as Mr. Spock was, and still is sacred. Fans did, however grow to accept Zachary Quinto.
People roared when Jeff Bridges was going to attempt to fill the shoes of the great John Wayne and play Rooster Cogburn in the “True Grit” remake. Not only was the film itself received better than the original, Bridges received an Academy Award nomination for best actor.
So there is no reason to argue against one amazingly talented actor to be inserted into a spot left vacant by another equally talented performer. Robert Downey Jr. made the MCU what it is today. Ben Affleck can keep it going.
Fans will miss Downey, but you can’t just mothball a character as important as Iron Man. The fans will come around when Ben Affleck steps out of whatever high performance vehicle Tony Stark decided to drive that day.
He will greet the camera with the cocky smirk, and the sarcastic tone that he has perfected over the years. Then, BOOM! Time to spring into action. His game face goes on. He suits up, and saves the day.
The fans will eat it up.
A Fresh Start For Both Affleck and the MCU
Throughout The history of Marvel Comics and into the MCU, one of the most important things for the brand is the relationship between Captain America and Iron Man. You need good chemistry. With the additional absence of Chris Evans in Marvel’s Phase Four, Captain America’s fate is also undetermined.
Whether Marvel Studios decides to find a fresh face for the iconic role or stick with Anthony Mackie, you are going to need an amicable veteran actor to guide the new Steve Rogers and maintain that on screen relationship.
Ben Affleck has a reputation for being easy to work with. Despite the miserable experience that he had on he set of “Justice League” and the personal problems that reemerged from it, he kept it professional and worked very well with the rest of the cast.
It’s that type of discipline that has been lacking in the DCEU, and has been strong as ever at Marvel.
That is why Ben Affleck deserves a shot at the Iron suit.
What do you think, Marvel fans? Is Affleck Worthy of an Avengers membership? Do you have somebody else in mind to fill the role? Sound off in the comments below!
Thank You for reading. When I am not writing, I am enjoying my time with my lovely wife Barbara, my two year old daughter Frankie, My Hound Dog Marbles, and my Ferret, Ms. Farrah Pawcett.
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