“I’ll take all the credit for his success as Iron Man”: Wesley Snipes Did Not Answer a Concerned Robert Downey Jr’s Call Initially Before His Big MCU Debut

“I’ll take all the credit for his success as Iron Man”: Wesley Snipes Did Not Answer a Concerned Robert Downey Jr’s Call Initially Before His Big MCU Debut
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It was Marvel Studios that gave Robert Downey Jr.’s career a second shot at Hollywood. Fans recognize the famed actor from 2008’s Iron Man and 2012’s The Avengers film. A decade later, he wrapped up Iron Man’s story in Avengers: Endgame, one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.

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Iron Man Robert Downey Jr
Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man

Before all the fame and fortune Downey Jr. made in his time portraying Iron Man, his life and career were in turmoil due to drug addiction. It was not entirely a secret as everyone in the industry would steer clear of him, not wanting to cast him again in any movie project.

RELATED: “I didn’t return the phone call”: Robert Downey Jr. Was Left Stranded by Blade Star Wesley Snipes, Left Iron Man Star Helpless Despite His Struggle With Addiction

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Wesley Snipes Gave Robert Downey Jr. Advice On How To Play A Superhero

Iron Man Robert Downey Jr Tony Stark
Iron Man (2008)

Robert Downey Jr. resurrected his career after landing a role at Marvel Studios. It was not an easy decision for the company, as launching a new franchise with a troubled lead star would not look good for publicity. However, Iron Man director Jon Favreau believed in the actor. He told Superhero Hype:

They wanted me to go with somebody younger and somebody with less of a reputation, and I was like, ‘This could be like casting Johnny Depp in Pirates.’ This could define the movie and bring it out of obscurity and out of this sort of ‘second-rate Spider-Man’ status that it’s [in].”

Favreau mentioned how the studio was “anxious about it and against it, and the board was concerned and against”; ultimately, Marvel Studios gave Downey Jr. a chance to prove himself through a screen test. It ended up propelling the actor’s career to new heights, as well as turning the studio into a powerhouse.

RELATED: “If it wasn’t for Blade we wouldn’t have the MCU”: Marvel Fans Credit $416M Wesley Snipes Franchise for Saving MCU

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Wesley Snipes Blade
Wesley Snipes in Blade (1998)

As it was the Iron Man star’s first time playing a superhero, he sought advice from a friend who had done it before. He contacted Wesley Snipes, the former Blade actor. They have worked together on past projects such as US Marshals and One Night Stand.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Snipes reminisced about the time Downey Jr. called him for advice:

I remember he actually called me, but I didn’t return the phone call at the time. Robert was concerned before Iron Man and was trying to find out what it’s like to play this comic book character because I had already done Blade. Not to say that… OK, I’ll take all the credit for his success as Iron Man.”

Certainly, whatever word Snipes gave the Iron Man star when they spoke again worked like magic, because there is no other actor who could portray the genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist as remarkable as Robert Downey Jr.

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RELATED: Robert Downey Jr Asked This Forgotten Marvel Star With a $417M Franchise for Advice on Iron Man: “He’s an extremely multi-talented actor that I respect”

How Robert Downey Jr.’s Thriving Career Helped Wesley Snipes Through Tough Times

Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes

Similarly, Wesley Snipes confessed that Robert Downey Jr. inspired him during the darkest period of his life. The Expendables star was incarcerated for years following his failure to file $15 million worth of taxes.

The controversy immensely ruined his career the same way that happened to his friend. But, through the example of Downey Jr., Snipes never lost hope:

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It’s an inspiration not just to me but to others, that you can go through hell and high water, and you can have ups and downs, but there’s always a brighter day. This too shall pass.”

Although Snipes is no longer getting big-time roles in Hollywood, he still managed to snag minor parts in small movie projects such as 2017’s Armed Response and The Recall.

Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr. is set to star in one of the most awaited movies of the year. Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer hits theaters on July 21, 2023.

Sources: Superhero Hype, The Telegraph

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RELATED: “It’s not a bad place to be”: Robert Downey Jr Pursued MCU’s Iron Man Role Like His Life Depended on It After Being Inspired By Johnny Depp and Keanu Reeves

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 1930

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.