According to the president of Marvel Studios, the selection of the actor to play the lead role in Jon Favreau’s Iron Man in 2008 was a very “difficult” task.
At the time, Downey Jr was still rebuilding his career after a battle with substance abuse that even caused him to be jailed.
Looking back at the memories, Feige told CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell about the risks concerning the casting of the actor, which paid off abundantly.
“I was lucky enough to be involved in early Spider-Man films and X-Men films. But we wanted to do an Iron Man movie. And I do think, still, the biggest risk — which seems outrageous to say now — was casting Robert Downey Jr,” he said. “It was both the biggest risk and the most important thing in the founding of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Without Robert, we wouldn’t be sitting here today. I really believe that.”
“He was an amazing actor. Everybody knew he was an amazing actor. But he hadn’t been an action star. He wasn’t a marquee star, necessarily. And we quickly realised the risk, I’ve said this before, was not casting him,” he added.
“And Jon Favreau really had that vision for that movie and for Robert in that role. That decision, and the success of that decision, I think empowered us with further risks and further choices.”
After being cast, Downey Jr. received so many praises for his role as Iron Man and essentially served as the primary face of the Avengers clan up until his final appearance in Avengers: Endgame.
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