With the release of Iron Man 3, my biggest problem hasn’t been the proliferation of spoilers about the Gandhi-rin or Pepper’s attire in certain scenes, but with the realization that we’re only about a year and a half from having a 50-year-old Tony Stark.  Sure, he wears it well, but there is going to come a point where Marvel Studios is going to have to recast with someone more appropriate to the eternally-twenty-nine Iron Man role.  Fans of Doctor Who have been dealing with this sadness all year, though, as the producers seem unwilling to bring back a nonogenerian Fourth Doctor or a Sixth Doctor who is balding and thicker about the waist.  On the one hand, I love Ruffalo, Downey and even Medicare-eligible Sam Jackson as Nick Fury (who, to be fair, is often a WWII veteran), but on the other, I can clearly see the appeal in the Super Sentai model, where every year you start fresh with new actors and new characters with minor modifications to the premise.  We fans are fickle beasties, though, and given the shouty-ness when they recast Bruce Banner, I imagine that a new actor taking over for Scarlett Johansson or Chris Evans will be a hard transition for a number of Aveng-ophiles, which begs a question…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still can’t figure out how they’re going to get 6 movies out of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, asking: Would you rather see a beloved actor who seems too old for his role, or a revamp that forces you to get used to the new guy?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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12 Comments

  1. comicfan1974
    May 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm — Reply

    I think it really depends. If we are talking about an iconic character like Superman or Batman who began life as a concept come to life on the illustrated page, then yes, I think swapping out for a new performer can almost always work (depending, of course, on the skill of the adaptation). It seems to me that such characters are cyphers anyway. But if we are talking about a character who came to life largely through the since iconic performance of a specific actor (like Indiana Jones a la Harrison Ford), then I am not so sure such a transition would work. Yet the Star Trek re-boot, however, challenges this, as they worked it into the narrative that a new timeline was created as a result of a truly fiendish super-villain named J.J. Abrams. Perhaps, as with so many things, it’s all relative.

  2. May 16, 2013 at 12:19 pm — Reply

    I think I’m OK with having new actors. It’s the Hollywood circle of life. The stories will never go away, because we love them so much, but the fact of life is actors get old and need to be replaced. Sure people will be upset, but as long as you get a good actor teamed up with a great writer, the hardcore never change anything fans will get over it.

  3. May 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm — Reply

    I’m having a hard time picturing Mark Hamill in the new Star Wars films (If he’s even really in them). Unless they play off his age as part of the story, I just don’t think it will work. Stick to voice acting friend

    • May 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm — Reply

      The likely hood of them not doing that is rather low. The original cast is most likely to be used like Leonard Nimoy has been in the new Trek films.
      That said, you’re right that it won’t work if they try to use them as an actual focus.

    • May 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm — Reply

      The story could take place chronologically long enough after the old movies that he would have aged normally. There was an 18 year gap between Episode III and Episode IV, so it wouldn’t be so far fetched if the new movies have a 35 – 40 year gap, if not more.

      • May 16, 2013 at 8:53 pm — Reply

        Agreed. I think that a new Star Wars movie will be infinitely better with the original characters somehow involved, and that you have to address their aging to do so. Otherwise, it’s just more EU stuff…

  4. Oldcomicfan
    May 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm — Reply

    William Shatner. Need I say more? Actually, it depends. Tony Stark is the owner of a major fortune 500 company, so his being 50 is completely in character. However, having a 70 year old Shatner running around trying to be Captain Kirk again, when a Star Ship Captain is a young man’s job, stretches the credibility a bit too much. The Super Sentai model only works for something as dorky as Power Rangers, and only then because the characters faces are masked most of the time. You could have Mel Brooks in there, playing the pink power ranger, and who would ever know?

    • May 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm — Reply

      I think you misread why the Power Rangers model works. It’s not the dorkiness (which can be considerable) or the masks. It’s the general setup of having an entirely new series every year or two. While each set has a similar conceit, they do change the story and some of the premise every time, making the cast change not just work, but mostly sensible.

    • May 16, 2013 at 8:37 pm — Reply

      You’re saying that you can’t tell the difference between a teenage girl and Mel Brooks?

  5. May 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm — Reply

    As Gokaiger has shown us, sometimes age means zilch. Big One came back as an old man and he was still as b@d@$$ as ever. Even in Power Rangers, Tommy and Adam both came back and were no longer teenagers, but it worked (one of the villains even made the joke “Aren’t you a little old for this, Tommy?”). And in Doctor Who, both “Time Crash” and “The Two Doctors” has shown us that they can always come up with an excuse for a character that doesn’t age normally looks older.

    In other cases, though, it might not work. I couldn’t see a new “Highlander” movie with Connor MacLeod coming out even if he hadn’t died in “Endgame” unless someone else played the part (not counting the coming remake). Similarly, I couldn’t see another Duncan MacLeod story after a few more years due to the aging of the actor.

    It depends on the story, the setting, and various other factors.

  6. slimeknight
    May 16, 2013 at 5:03 pm — Reply

    I feel fine with new actors coming in instead of a reboot like amazing spiderman. I’m a comic fan so I’m already used to this as a different artist on a book will usually have differences to their style. It also Works pretty well for Bond as well so I say switch away.

  7. Johnny
    May 16, 2013 at 9:57 pm — Reply

    I think it’s entirely plausible for Iron Man to age. As a man in a powered suit, it’s never been about his physicality- could 29 year old Tony fight bad guys without his suit? No, but the armor makes it possible – why would it change when he’s older?

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