The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a massively popular film franchise, able to make record breaking box office returns and introduce serialized storytelling to to audiences. While Marvel Studios has become a well-oiled machine, there was a time when the genre was still building, with the MCU beginning via Jon Favreau's original Iron Man movie. The blockbuster kickstarted the shared universe, and Robert Downey Jr.'s career was given a massive boost.
But there was some doubt over casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark; he wasn't simply offered the role. In fact, he had to go in and do a screen test just like many other actors out there. Avengers: Endgame will arrive for digital and home purchase shortly, and one clip from the special features includes RDJ's Iron Man audition. Check it out below.
I mean, how can you not cast that guy? Robert Downey Jr. truly is Tony Stark, and the above video shows that he was always the right guy for the job. He's had an excellent tenure in the shared universe, and made a ton of money in the process.
The above clip comes to us from Fandango, and pulls back the curtain regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe's humble beginnings. Iron Man was largely an experiment, with Nick Fury's scene at the film's end teasing the possibility of so much more. Jon Favreau and company needed to start on the right foot, especially regarding casting comic book characters like Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, and Happy Hogan.
Jon Favreau originally wanted to cast an unknown actor as Tony Stark, but eventually changed his mind. And while the creative team behind Iron Man thought that Robert Downey Jr. would be a great choice to bring Iron Man to life in live-action, the video reveals that there was some pushback from the studio. After all, RDJ had made headlines regarding his personal struggles, so he was a gamble back when he landed the role in 2006.
Robert Downey Jr. describes his screen test for Iron Man as a rush, and an almost out of body experience. He equated it to the feeling of being on the field of a major sports event, with instinct taking over in the face of immense pressure. Watching the clip over, and it's remarkable just how similar he already was to the Tony Stark we know and love. He perfectly captured the character's delightful arrogance, with spitfire dialogue and Tony's signature swagger.
Since Iron Man hit theaters in 2008, Robert Downey Jr. has remained the star of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tony has been at the heart of the shared universe's biggest conflicts, with an especially strong showing in Avengers: Endgame. Tony helped make time travel a reality, and ultimately sacrificed himself to snap Thanos and his forces out of existence for good. Spider-Man: Far From Home showed how the universe has memorialized him, and it'll be wild to see Phase Four continue on without Downey Jr.'s signature character.
All will be revealed when Marvel Studios reveals its plans for Phase Four, possibly during San Diego Comic-Con. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
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Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.