It can be hard to imagine Robert Downey Jr. was anyone other than Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but director Jon Favreau revealed that he was considered for another superhero project before becoming the beloved Tony Stark.
To celebrate 15 years of establishment Iron ManOpening the MCU’s Phase One in 2008, Marvel Studios presidents Kevin Feige and Favreau sat down to look back at the film’s birth with Downey in the lead role.
“I miss all of you who met him [Downey] like Doctor Doom or something on another project,” Palestinians creator said. “I think he passed as if maybe Fantastic fourso everyone knows who he is.
Favreau did not confirm how far Downey had come in auditioning for Tim Story’s 2005 film, but at the time, the film had the rights. Fantastic four owned by 20th Century Fox until Disney acquired the studio in 2019.
The director said that they finally brought the actor to audition for the on-screen role. Iron Man and that’s when they saw the “shine in him” and knew he was the perfect man for the role.
Favreau explains: “Once I was him, that was when my life became a lot easier because he understood the voice of the character. “And then one by one, people just signed up because now it’s become something interesting.”
Iron Man went on to earn more than $585 million worldwide, as did Downey taking on the role in two Iron Man sequel, four Avengers movie, Captain America: Civil War and more. Feige also credits Downey for helping to make the MCU what it is today.
“I remember the movies that later – we’ll talk about them on their 15th anniversary – had dark days,” the Marvel boss said. “I would say to Robert, ‘We wouldn’t be in this mess without you,’ which means we wouldn’t have a studio without him. Or you [Favreau].”