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Marvel boss says casting Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man could have been a ‘dumpster fire’

Downey Jr had been to jail and recently become sober when he was cast as superhero

Adam White
Tuesday 31 December 2019 10:51 GMT
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Marvel boss Kevin Feige has recalled fearing that casting Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man could be “the biggest dumpster fire ever”.

During a Q&A in front of aspiring filmmakers at the New York Film Academy, Feige said that he knew casting Iron Man and his alter ego Tony Stark was a make-or-break decision for the then fledgling Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“I remember speaking to the marketing team at Paramount, because Paramount released [2008’s Iron Man], saying that if we did our job, Tony Stark will be as famous as Iron Man,” Feige recalled. “Tony Stark will be as well known and as much of a household name as Iron Man because that’s how interesting the character has to be.”

He continued, “Literally, the first decision I made and was allowed to make and allowed to try to pursue as president of Marvel Studios was casting Robert Downey Jr, and it felt fun to do that because we knew it’d either be great or the biggest dumpster fire ever.”

“There was very little wiggle room,” he added.

At the time he was cast as Iron Man, Downey Jr was notorious in Hollywood for his years of drug and alcohol addiction and troubles with the law.

The actor got sober in 2003, following a number of stints in rehab and a year spent in jail.

Despite Iron Man apparently making his final appearance in the MCU in this year’s Avengers: Endgame, it has since been claimed that Downey Jr will provide cameos as the character in future Marvel projects including 2020’s Black Widow movie and the Disney+ animated series What If...?

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