Before ‘Iron Man’, Robert Downey Jr Almost Played Another Iconic Marvel Role
— 29 May 2023

Before ‘Iron Man’, Robert Downey Jr Almost Played Another Iconic Marvel Role

— 29 May 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Despite the years since his retirement from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to this day, Robert Downey Jr has become synonymous with his role as billionaire/playboy/industrialist Tony Stark – otherwise known as Iron Man. But there was a time when he was in consideration to portray yet another iconic Marvel character, which could’ve potentially sent him down a slightly different route.

“I remember you had all met with [Robert Downey Jr] already for like Doctor Doom or something on another project,” Iron Man director Jon Favreau said in conversation with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.

“I think he had come through on maybe Fantastic Four, so everybody sort of knew who he was.”

The villainous Doctor Doom – otherwise known as the other Marvel billionaire industrialist Victor Von Doom – would later be brought to life by Aussie thespian Julian McMahon, who starred opposite Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards / Mr Fantastic, Jessica Alba as Susan Storm / Invisible Woman, Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm / The Things, and future Captain America Chris Evans as Johnny Storm / Huma Torch.

Robert Downey Jr Almost Took On This Marvel Gig Before Iron Man

RELATED: Why Tom Cruise Said No To ‘Iron Man’ Back In 2008

Of course, life often has a funny habit of takings things where they need to go. And a few years later, RDJ’s career, what would eventually become the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the superhero movie genre, as well as modern cinema’s entire landscape would irrevocably be changed with Jon Favreau’s seminal Iron Man – which we maintain is still the greatest Marvel film to date.

Favreau continued: “He was the puzzle piece that made it all work. I remember sitting down with the guy, and I was like, ‘He’s got that spark in him in his eye and he’s ready.’ That’s when we were in your office, and we were pointing to his headshot, saying, ‘We got to try to figure this out.’”

RELATED: Robert Downey Jr Goes Full Tony Stark On His Car Collection For This New HBO Series

Robert Downey Jr - Iron Man

“Once it was him, that’s when my life got a lot easier because he understood. He understood the voice of the character. And then one by one, people were just signing on board because now it became something interesting.”

“The tone that you and Robert discovered on that movie, I would say became the template in a way for much of what the MCU became,” added Kevin Feige.

Check out the full conversation between the architects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe below.

Subscribe to B.H. Magazine

Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]