01/05/2012 07:44 BST | Updated 01/05/2012 07:45 BST

Marvel Boss Wants Iron Man To Follow In James Bond's Footsteps

Marvel boss Kevin Feige is convinced the Iron Man series can continue as successfully as the Bond movies, even if Robert Downey, Jr. decides to leave the franchise in the future.

The actor has played billionaire superhero Tony Stark in the first two Iron Man movies, which have pulled in over $1bn at the box office, as well as new blockbuster Avengers Assemble.

A third installment, with Downey, Jr. in the lead role, is in the pipeline for next year, and Feige insists the films have the potential to emulate the success of the James Bond movies, which have been on the big screen since 1962 with six actors playing the superspy over the years.

He says: "I think Bond is a good example. Let's put it this way: I hope Downey makes a lot of movies for us as Stark.

"If and when he doesn't, and I'm still here making these movies, we don't take him to Afghanistan and have him (Stark) wounded again. I think we James Bond it."

Pictures Of The Day: 1 May 2012