In 2008, one of the first ever films from Marvel Studios to grace the cinemas was Iron Man, which would later give rise to the cinematic juggernaut that we know today. And spearheading this vision was Robert Downey Jr., the man who would later take the role of becoming the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from that one movie. Leading the charge from his role as Tony Stark, the actor would gain fame and fortune which were astonishing, to say the least.
Giving the reigns of such an important project to someone like RDJ at a time when he was barely known in the industry as a dependable star to work with was a gamble that Marvel Studios made, and that gamble has now paid off, making the MCU the most successful entertainment franchise in the world. But as time goes on, many new things are being let out of the bag, one of which is the fact that Marvel Studios had believed that Iron Man was bound to fail.
Robert Downey Jr. Reveals That Marvel Studios Had Little Expectation From Iron Man To Succeed
It’s hard to imagine that someone with such exceptional talent and dynamic nature to adapt to any role he’s assigned could not be trusted by Marvel Studios to lead a new franchise to glory, but that was exactly the case with Robert Downey Jr. As the first movie of the MCU had arrived to cinemas, people were ready for another superhero flick that they had seen in the past, but RDJ was prepared to blow the audiences away with his stellar performance as the Genius billionaire playboy Tony Stark.
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But the success came as a shock to the executives and officials at the newly established Marvel Studios, who were ready to scrap the whole project because they had little to no confidence in RDJ and/or the film in general. Apart from the red flag of the Sherlock Holmes star’s past alcoholism and substance abuse problem might become a hindrance, the studio also believed that people might not like the movie and would treat it as another failed attempt to revive superhero films. In a Q&A session at the Directors Guild of America, RDJ revealed the following:
“Well, I mean first of all because not too many people were thinking that Iron Man was even going to have an opening weekend or do much of anything, so we were a little bit left alone. I find out more every day about how that thing was financed, it was basically ready to be written off if it tanked.”
“And so anyway it was the perfect thing where there were not a lot of creatively aggressive eyes on us. And by the time they gave it to us, it was like united artists, like the lunatics took over the asylum.”
“And I remember Jeff Bridges too, he was like, ‘man, we’re doing a $200 million independent movie, man.’ And there was just that sense that, of course, it was much more organized.”
But RDJ was ready to show everyone that he was more than capable of carrying the entire film and the subsequent MCU that came after on his iron-clad shoulders with the first Iron Man, and the rest is history.
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Will We See The Return Of Robert Downey Jr. In The MCU?
After the tragic events of Avengers: Endgame, where we lost Tony Stark, who laid the foundation of the MCU that we know today, everyone who grew up watching these films was emotional. And with those emotions, came the wish to see Robert Downey Jr. once again in his suit of armor. And luckily, as the MCU inches closer to the Multiverse Saga from Phase 5, the possibility of RDJ’s return to the MCU seems more plausible than ever before. We don’t know exactly when and where we would see him again, but the hope of his return will remain.
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All parts of the Iron Man series are available on Disney+