Kevin Feige Says Robert Downey Jr Tony Stark Casting Greatest Decision In Hollywood History

Kevin Feige Says Robert Downey Jr Tony Stark Casting Greatest Decision In Hollywood History

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has lauded the decision to cast Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man, as one of the most critical choices in Hollywood’s history.

The impact of the movie Iron Man extended far beyond its success at the box office. It marked a pivotal moment in both the movie industry and the comic book industry, reshaping the landscape of superhero films.

Prior to its release, Iron Man was not among the most prominent Marvel characters. Marvel’s options were limited, with other significant franchises held by different studios. However, the 2008 film not only propelled Marvel into direct competition with DC, but it also laid the foundation for a vast and interconnected cinematic universe unrivalled in scale.

With the success of Iron Man, Marvel was able to unleash a wave of adaptations, utilizing a vast array of intellectual properties. This achievement can largely be attributed to Robert Downey Jr.’s impeccable portrayal of Tony Stark, solidifying his place as the iconic character and a driving force behind Marvel’s monumental success.

Robert Downey’s Casting as Iron Man Is the Greatest Decision in Hollywood History

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A few days ago, Marvel released a video titled Iron Man: 15 Years Later with Kevin Feige and Jon Favreau. In the 21-minute video, they discussed how critical the actor was in making the film. Favreau said:

It wasn’t really until we cast Robert that I fully understood what the take was. And once it was Robert then it was like I know what the… I… *snaps* every decision became a lot easier.

Kevin Feige followed up by saying:

I think that’s probably one of the greatest decisions in the history of Hollywood.

The Marvel Studios president admits that without the actor and the vision of Jon Favreau, there might not be a Marvel Studios. While the company was made back in 1996, it was very different back then since it only licensed comic book characters to other film studios but didn’t have any control over the production. Iron Man was the first film that Marvel had complete control over. Feige said:

I would say “Robert, we wouldn’t be in this mess if it wasn’t for you” meaning we wouldn’t have a studio if it wasn’t for him or you.

Other actors were also considered for the role of Iron Man. Clive Owen, known for his performances in films like Children of Men and Sin City, was initially the top choice. Tom Cruise was also in discussions for the role but declined due to reasons related to creative control and his preference for more control over his projects.

Robert Downey Jr., known for his role in Charlie Chaplin, ultimately proved to be the perfect fit for the character. Tony Stark drew inspiration from Howard Hughes, a wealthy and troubled individual, and Downey’s own personal journey and experiences paralleled the complexities of the character. While Downey had already been rebuilding his career with notable films like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Zodiac, it was his portrayal of Iron Man that truly thrust him into the spotlight.

Favreau continued talking about how Downey understood the character:

Once it was him that’s when my life got a lot easier because he understood, he understood the voice of the character. And then one by one people were just signing on board because now it became something interesting.

Kevin Feige saw that there was something special when Robert Downey Jr. did his screentest saying:

Downey from that first screen test yeah with Jimmy Rich and the suit and then coming “team Downey coming in” I mean I thought he has a team? Wow. He knew this was his shot and it was gonna work.

Feige Praises Casting Of Robert Downey As Iron Man

Kevin Feige Says Robert Downey Jr Tony Stark Casting Greatest Decision In Hollywood History

Credit: Marvel Studios

READ MORE: Spider-Man Writers Doubt Iron Man Will Return To The MCU

Robert Downey Jr.’s impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe is undeniable and indelible. He portrayed the role of Iron Man for an impressive 11-year tenure. Fans formed a strong attachment to his portrayal of Tony Stark, and many found it difficult to come to terms with his character’s death in Avengers: Endgame due to the profound impact he had on the franchise.

Since departing from the MCU, Downey has pursued various projects and expanded his creative endeavours. He joined the star-studded cast of Christopher Nolan’s film Oppenheimer, alongside actors like Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, and Florence Pugh. Additionally, Downey released a documentary about his father, who is also an actor and director, titled Sr.

In collaboration with his wife, Susan Downey, Robert established their production company, Team Downey. They are involved in the development of TV shows such as Perry Mason on HBO and Sweet Tooth on Netflix. They are also working on spin-offs for the Sherlock Holmes films, which were released in 2009 and 2011.

The significance of Iron Man in cinema was officially recognized in 2022 when the film was added to the National Film Registry. It was acknowledged as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” This recognition solidifies the lasting impact of Iron Man and its contribution to the film industry.

Kevin Feige said about its inclusion:

The notion that here we are, almost 15 years after the release of ‘Iron Man,’ and to have it join the Film Registry tells us it has stood the test of time and that it is still meaningful to audiences around the world.

What do you make of this news? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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