Menu Close

Robert Downey Jr. could’ve missed out on Iron Man role

Even if you’re not a huge superhero person, you can’t deny the lasting impact the Marvel Cinematic Universe has. The ability to tie together dozens of superheroes isn’t a particularly easy feat, but Marvel managed to be a masterclass on how to do it right. But, among the major heroes, there was Iron Man portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.

Speaking with The New Yorker (via Cinemablend), David Maisel expressed that a good deal of the board wasn’t as receptive to cast the Zodiac actor in such an essential piece of the studio’s future as he was. It was the company’s future, and at the time, Downey was suffering from addiction problems while being considered for the role.

“My board thought I was crazy to put the future of the company in the hands of an addict. I helped them understand how great he was for the role. We all had confidence that he was clean and would stay clean.”

Obviously, Maisel was a master at convincing the rest of the crew, and the role of Iron Man fell into the lap of the Tropic Thunder actor after it was Clive Owen rejected the role. Now, it wasn’t just the MCU creator who championed Downey’s involvement, director Jon Favreau was also a strong supporter of taking that risk and reaping the potential reward.

Clearly, it paid off, with not only the actor being clean since 2003, but also becoming the start of among the biggest media empires out there, with solo films for The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America following soon after. Heck, even Marvel big wig Kevin Feige said during a candid conversation on Marvel’s website that Robert Downey Jr. is the reason the MCU even exists.

Posted in News