Casting Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man was the biggest risk, says Marvel boss

Kevin Feige explained that actor was an unlikely choice for the character of Iron Man


August 25, 2021

To most Marvel fans, imagining the infamous Iron Man being essayed by any actor other than Robert Downey Jr seems rather impossible. The actor, who played the superhero in several Marvel films, embodied the character perfectly. However, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently revealed that casting Downey Jr as Iron Man was one of the biggest risks that the studio took.  

During a promotional interview for the upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings with CinemaBlend, Feige shared, “I was lucky enough to be involved in early Spiderman films and X-Men films. But we wanted to do an Iron Man film. And I do think, still, the biggest risk - which seems outrageous to say now - was casting Robert Downey Jr. 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.”

Feige explained that while they understood Downey Jr was a great actor, his lack of action film credits made him an unlikely choice. He explained, “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 realized the risk, I've said this before, was not casting him. 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.”

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