According to the director of Hombre de Hierro, Jon Favreauinitially it was considered Robert Downey Jr. for a different role in the film that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“I remember that they had already met with [Downey] for Doctor Doom or something like that on another project,” Favreau said in a conversation with the head of Marvel, Kevin Feige. Favreau and Feige sat down for a look back at the movie that kicked off the MCU 15 years ago.
Victor Von Doom was finally played by the star of Nip/Tuck Julian McMahon in the 2005 film. For Favreau, casting Downey in Iron Man was the missing component to make the film work.
“He was the piece of the puzzle that made it all work”Favreau said. “I remember sitting down with the guy and saying, ‘he’s got that spark in his eye and he’s ready.’ That’s when we were in his office, and we were pointing to the picture of his head and saying, ‘We’ve got to try to figure this out.'”
Favreau continued: “Once it was him, that’s when my life became so much easier because he understood. He understood the voice of the character. And then, one by one, people just jumped on it because now it became something interesting.”
Feige noted that the “tone that you and Robert discovered in that movie, I would say became the template in a way for a lot of what became of the MCU.”
“I remember that in later films, we will talk about them on the 15th anniversary of those, there were dark days. And I would say to Robert, ‘We wouldn’t be in this mess if it wasn’t for you.’ I mean, we wouldn’t have a studio if it wasn’t for him,” Feige added.
Robert Downey Jr. inside the Marvel Universe
Downey first starred as Iron Man (aka Tony Stark) in the 2008 titular film, and reprized the role in nine other MCU entries, including two direct Iron Man sequels (released in 2010 and 2013, respectively). He retired Stark’s arc in 2018, with his last appearance being in Avengers: Endgame.
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