Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige has said that he believes Iron Man could survive without leading man Robert Downey Jr.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly he reacted to news that Iron Man 3 could be Downey Jr's last in the role of Tony Stark.

He said: "I believe there will be a fourth Iron Man and a fifth, sixth and a 10th and a 20th.

"I see no reason why Tony Stark can't be as evergreen as James Bond, Batman, or for that matter, Spider-Man."

However Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays Pepper Potts in the film franchise, said that it would be "very hard" to imagine anyone else in the role.

Speaking about what Downey Jr brings to the part, she said: "You've got pathos, you've got humour, you've got a facility with language and improvisation and an incredible pain underneath it all. It's difficult to replicate that."

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