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“It gives you a little bit of latitude”: $179M Ben Affleck Disaster Convinced Jon Favreau He Didn’t Want a Famous Face for Iron Man – Cast Robert Downey Jr Instead

$179M Ben Affleck Disaster Convinced Jon Favreau He Didn't Want a Famous Face for Iron Man - Cast Robert Downey Jr Instead

A successful actor turned director, Jon Favreau is one of the most renowned and charismatic filmmakers in Hollywood. While the transition from an actor to a director is not a piece of cake, thanks to his numerous iconic films over the years, they have helped to cement his place as one of the greatest minds to ever work behind the camera. From Zathura: A Space Adventure to The Jungle King, Favreau has created some of the most iconic films ever created for this generation.

Jon Favreau
Jon Favreau

Over the years, we have seen Jon Favreau, write, produce, direct, and act in his films. However, his greatest achievement was laying down a successful foundation for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a multi-billion dollar superhero franchise that started back in 2008 with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. The 2008 film was a massive success, thanks to his experience from Mark Steven Johnson’s Daredevil, which aided him in making decisions that helped him lay a solid foundation for Marvel.

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Jon Favreau Learned A Famous Face Isn’t The Recipe For Success

The early 2000s was a crucial time for Marvel as it was not the Marvel Cinematic Universe that we now know and love. It took Marvel a decade-long worth of story development and world-building that was immensely loved and approved by the fans and critics. One of the most important films would be Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy featuring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/ Spider-Man. And the most interesting aspect of the film is that Maguire was a somewhat unknown actor back then.

A still from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 1
A still from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 1

The first film was immensely successful and helped the audience to realize that people were hungry for comic book movies. However, that did not mean every comic book adaptation was a massive hit at the box office. Ben Affleck’s Daredevil was a flop, and even in 2023, people debate if casting Ben Affleck as Daredevil was a good or a horrible decision. This is something that Jon Favreau realized and he even talked about this phenomenon on his MySpace.

“What’s nice is that those movies don’t require an expensive star; Iron Man’s the star, the superhero is the star. The success of ‘X-Men’ and ‘Spider-Man’ without being star-driven pieces reassures [executives] that the film does have an upside commercially.”

“I don’t know that a movie like ‘Daredevil’ did better for having Ben Affleck then ‘Spider-Man’ did having Tobey Maguire, who was a relative unknown at the time. It gives you a little bit of latitude, because there’s a lot of money that goes into getting that face on the poster.”

Ben Affleck as Daredevil
Ben Affleck as Daredevil

Jon Favreau worked alongside Ben Affleck in the 2003 action film, which was an epic disaster at the box office, earning only $182.7 million at the worldwide box office. This made the Chef director choose Robert Downey Jr. for the role of Tony Stark/ Iron Man for his role as he was an unknown face back then, battling his alcoholism and substance abuse in front of the tabloids.

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Robert Downey Jr. Praises Jon Favreau For The Mandalorian

RDJ and Favreau created an impactful partnership, as the pair helped in creating one of the biggest and most successful superhero franchises as they worked for the first time in Iron Man in 2008. During the filming of the Marvel movie, the actor realized that Jon Favreau was a great choice to direct Star Wars films. During an interview, the Avengers: Endgame actor shared how a scene from the 2008 film gave him a Star Wars-esque feel.

A still from Iron Man
A still from Iron Man

“There’s another moment where Tony has escaped the cave and essentially become Iron Man. And he lands in this kind of crater outside the cave where he’s being held. There was a windstorm that day and we were trying to get this take and it was very Star Wars-Esque in a way, very reminiscent of what Jon has wound up doing since with Mandalorian.”

It is very natural, for the actor to feel like that during the escape scene as the windstorm and the desert around them gave a very Tatooine-like feel. While Iron Man did not directly inspire Jon Favreau director to direct The Mandalorian, it certainly added to his reputation.

Also Read: “Why not be nice if you’re that big?”: Taika Waititi Claimed Nightclub Bouncers Had a Role in Shaping One Fan-Favorite Character in Thor Films

Iron Man can be streamed on Disney+.

Source: Myspace via MTV News

Written by Tushar Auddy

A voracious reader and a wordsmith at heart. Tushar is a student of Linguistics, who's always on the lookout for a good book or a captivating story. He has a passion for literature that runs deep and loves nothing more than getting lost in a novel for hours on end. When he isn't reading, you'll find him scribbling down his thoughts and musings, always eager to capture the beauty of language.