Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige is convinced Iron Man can live on without Robert Downey, Jr. because the character is "as evergreen as James Bond".
The Chaplin star has portrayed Tony Stark in all three Iron Man blockbusters and there is already talk of a fourth film as the new sequel launches in the U.S. after taking the world's box office by storm.
And Feige insists the franchise won't die when its star decides it's time to step down.
He tells Entertainment Weekly magazine, "I believe there will be a fourth Iron Man film and a fifth and a sixth and a 10th and a 20th.
"I see no reason why Tony Stark can't be as evergreen as James Bond. Or Batman, for that matter. Or Spider-man."