Jon Favreau Reveals Robert Downey Jr. Was in Talks for Another Marvel Character Before Iron Man

Downey Jr. is best known for playing Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from 2008 to 2019

<p>Marvel Studios/Kobal/Shutterstock;Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images</p>

Marvel Studios/Kobal/Shutterstock;Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

It’s hard to believe that Robert Downey Jr. could’ve played any other Marvel character but Iron Man — but that was once the case years back.

For the 15th anniversary of Iron Man’s release, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Jon Favreau — who directed, produced and appeared as Happy Hogan in the 2008 film — revealed that Downey Jr. almost did not play the iconic Marvel hero while discussing the makings of the movie and its legacy.

“I remember you had all met with [Downey] already for like Doctor Doom or something on another project,” Favreau, 56, told Feige in an interview published on Youtube Wednesday. “I think he had come through on maybe Fantastic Four, so everybody sort of knew who he was.” Julian McMahon ultimately played Doom.

Related: Tom Cruise Says He Was &#39;Not Close&#39; to Playing Iron Man Over Robert Downey Jr.

“I remember sitting down with the guy, and I was like, ‘He’s got that spark in him in his eye and he’s ready,’” The Mandalorian creator noted.

“That’s when we were in your office, and we were pointing to his headshot, saying, “We got to try to figure this out,” he continued recalling. “That was enough to get us a screentest.”

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

<p>20th Century Fox/Marvel/Kobal/Shutterstock </p>

20th Century Fox/Marvel/Kobal/Shutterstock

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Feige, 49, told Favreau, “I remember a shift … when you said, ‘Once Downey was signed and it was done and he was in, you were like, ‘Ah, good. Now I can just make the movie. Now I can just have fun.”

Related: Robert Downey Jr. Teases &#39;We&#39;ll See&#39; of Possible Iron Man Return: I &#39;Want to Keep It Classy&#39;

After Downey first donned the iron suit in the 2008 original movie — which earned over $585 million worldwide — he went on to reprise the role in nine more Marvel films, including two Iron Man sequels, before his character died in Avengers: Endgame (2019).

“That tone that you and Robert discovered on that movie, I would say became the template in a way for much of what the MCU became,” Feige added.

“I remember on later movies… there were dark days,” he later noted. “I would say to 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 [Favreau].”

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