Robert Downey Jr., who played the popular character of Marvel’s scientist and superhero Tony Stark, aka, Iron Man for as long as a decade, retired from the role after doing the 2019 film, Avengers: Endgame. With Iron Man’s death in Endgame, the chances of the Dolittle actor reprising his role have been getting slimmer by the day.
But if he’s not planning to come back as a Marvel superhero anytime soon, nobody said anything about DC though, right?
Back in 2013, when Joseph McGinty Nichol had almost been the director of Man of Steel, he had some big plans for the Iron Man actor to portray him as a DC supervillain instead. And with the new look that Robert Downey Jr has revealed on social media with a fully-shaven head, he really does look like the perfect fit for the part.
Robert Downey Jr. almost played DC’s Lex Luthor
Joseph McGinty Nichol, professionally renowned as McG, had been at the helm of Superman Returns before the project had been handed over to the Bohemian Rhapsody director, Bryan Singer.
With the Star Trek director J.J. Abrams on board as the screenwriter and McG as the showrunner, the Superman film was initially going to be titled Flyby. Of course, all that was before the Charlie’s Angels director was scrapped from the project. But while he was still overseeing things, McG recalled wanting to cast Robert Downey Jr. as the supervillain Lex Luthor.
“We had Robert Downey Jr. locked up to be Lex Luthor, which I think would have been extraordinary. Ironically, we liked Henry Cavill a lot, but we hadn’t cast him yet. J.J. wrote the script, and we got that to a really good place in the end, but I’m to blame for [the film not happening].”
The reason behind the film never actually making it through was a little falling-out that took place between Warner Bros. and McG. While WB wanted to shoot the movie in Australia, the latter was against the idea because of his intense fear of flying. And as neither of the parties could come to a consensus, McG, who has also served as an executive producer for The OC, was fired from the project, with all his plans about casting the Zodiac actor going to waste as well.
Will Robert Downey Jr. come to the DC Universe?
Downey Jr. quite recently shared a video of him on Instagram wherein his kids are seen helping him shave his head. The American actor and producer is set to play the role of a half-French and half-Vietnamese spy in the upcoming series, The Sympathizer, which will be airing on HBO Max.
Although his bald look is for the character he will be portraying in the new series, he certainly looks like a great candidate to play a villainous role.
The Judge star had anyways already been close to playing Superman’s archenemy, and DC’s man in the red cape has already made a comeback to the franchise with Henry Cavill’s reprisal of the superhero. That’s not the only surprise DC had in store for fans, with the franchise’s hierarchy taking a sharp turn just a while ago as James Gunn and Peter Safran took over as co-CEOs. So, one can never be too sure.
Who knows, maybe Downey Jr. might just end up coming to the big screens as a DC villain now that he has retired from the role of Marvel’s superhero.