At the New York Film Academy, Kevin Feige discussed the casting of Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man. The Marvel president said at the time that RDJ’s casting was a make or break moment for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This was because, at the time, the actor was infamous for his drug and alcohol addiction.
Kevin said, “Literally, the first decision I made and was allowed to make and allowed to try to pursue as president of Marvel Studios was casting Robert Downey Jr. and it felt fun to do that because we knew it’d either be great or the biggest dumpster fire ever. There’s very little wiggle room. It ended up being great and I’ve always said ‘No RDJ, no MCU.”
The rest as some would say is history as 11 years later, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become a worldwide success and has gained massive amounts of profit from their films.
Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, and Spider-Man: Far From Home have all grossed over a billion at the box office this year with Avengers: Endgame becoming the highest-grossing film of all time.
The latest Avengers film also served as a final performance for Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man as the character sacrificed himself to end Thanos’s life.
Despite Iron Man and Downey Jr himself leaving the MCU after Avengers: Endgame, it has been rumored that he will make an appearance in some future MCU projects such as Black Widow and the upcoming What If? series on Disney+.
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No matter whether these rumors are true or not, it is undeniable that Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man has become an iconic character in film. It is clear that Feige’s gamble to cast Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man has paid off in spades and whilst the MCU will continue to make more movies, the fans will remember how it all started in a cave with a box of metal scraps and Robert Downey Jr.