Robert Downey Jr. Almost Played A Different Marvel Character Before He Nabbed Iron Man

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It was a gamble, studio execs thought some 15 years ago, to cast Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. But it paid off, and how. The character’s first big film kickstarted a still-expanding extended universe of films and TV shows. And it gave the actor’s career a shot in the arm. But what if he’d been cast as a different Marvel character? That’s what nearly happened.

As per Insider, Iron Man director Jon Favreau and MCU honcho Kevin Feige sat down for a retrospective on the first film, which earlier this month had its 15th anniversary. At one point they discussed how Marvel was toying with a new movie version of the Fantastic Four.

“I remember that Robert had come in for a general on it and I remember you had all met with him already for like Doctor Doom or something, on another project,” Favreau recalled. “I remember sitting down with the guy and I was like ‘Jeez, he’s just got it in him, he’s got that spark in him in his eye and he’s ready.’”

The two were blown away by Downey, who was already on a comeback trail with attention-nabbing turns in movies like Zodiac, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and A Scanner Darkly.

“We were pointing to his headshot and saying ‘We gotta try and figure this out,’” Favreau said.

And so they did, and the rest is history. But what would the current movie industry look like had they made a Fantastic Four movie instead of Iron Man, and cast Downey as the big bad, not as a big hero? Then again, it’s not too late to bring Downey back to the MCU for the Fantastic Four movie they’re making now. Then again, at least he was busy at the time Fox was making their own disastrous take on the team.

You can watch the retrospective chat in the video below. The Fantastic Four business begins around the 21-minute mark.

(Via Insider)

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