Actor Robert Downey Jr. has become synonymous with the character after bringing Iron Man to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, he may have had his first Marvel role a few years earlier. In a new video from Marvel Entertainment, producer Kevin Feige and director Jon Favreau discuss why they chose RDJ to play Tony Stark. This is to mark the 15th anniversary of Iron Man. During this conversation, it was subtly said that Downey had been considered for the role of Doctor Doom, the supervillain in the 2005 Fantastic Four movie. Even though he didn’t get the part, the fact that he tried out for it led to him being cast in Iron Man.
I remember that Robert came in for a general role on it, and you had already met him for Doctor Doom or something on another project, maybe Fantastic Four? Favreau asks.
“Right,” Feige said, confirming that it was true.
Julian McMahon played Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four, but Feige remembered Downey. Feige still had Downey’s headshots in his office when it came time to cast Iron Man, so Favreau talked to him about the possibility of putting Downey in the role of Tony Stark.
“So, everyone kind of knew who he was, and I remember sitting down with him and thinking, ‘Jeez, he’s just got it, he’s got that spark in him, in his eye, and he’s ready,'” Favreau says. “And that’s when we were in your office, pointing to his headshot and saying, ‘We’ve got to try to figure this out.'”
Robert Downey Jr. Suits Up as Iron Man
Downey was asked to do a screen test, which he did so well that he got the part of Tony Stark in Iron Man. From then on, it was much easier for Favreau to put the movie together, as the director says. Now that Downey was cast as the movie’s star, it was easier to figure out what to do creatively with the character. The fact that the actor was involved made getting other well-known people on board easier, which was a bonus.
“Once it was him, my life got a lot easier because he got the character’s voice,” Favreau says. “After that, people just started coming on board one by one.” “Because people are now finding it interesting. Gwyneth [Paltrow], Jeff [Bridges]. It took off at that point, and people kept coming because it was cool.”
Downey would keep playing Iron Man for many years, which showed how well he fit the role. He finished playing Tony Stark in the 2019 movie Avengers: Endgame, and it looks like he has yet to make plans to come back to the role in future Marvel movies.