Robert Downey Jr. And Chris Evans have been widely considered to be the heart and soul of the MCU. Apart from being the integral cogs that kept the Marvel wheel moving, Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Evans’ Captain America also provided contrasting character studies through their disagreements and feuds, thereby lending a lot more nuance to the vast narrative.
Both stars have also been prominent figures in the MCU films, having made 10 appearances each. Despite their constant presence, another veteran Samuel L. Jackson, who played the role of Nick Fury in the MCU, takes top honors for being part of 16 films in the franchise thus far.
Robert Downey Jr. And Chris Evans Could Not Beat Their MCU Co-Star’s Record
Iron Man and Captain America are undoubtedly two of the most important and constant characters in the MCU. While Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans have expectedly been part of most of the films, their co-star Samuel L. Jackson, staked his claim as the face of the franchise. While the Due Date star and The Gray Man actor made 10 appearances as their characters, Jackson played Nick Fury a staggering 16 times in the MCU, including his most recent stint in Secret Invasion.
Interestingly, Jackson’s significance as Nick Fury through the various phases of the MCU wasn’t planned, but developed organically. Originally, according to reports, Marvel Studios did not see a future for the character beyond the post-credit scene in Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. While the plan was always to use the Sherlock Holmes star as a catalyst to assemble the Avengers, Jackson’s Nick Fury slowly, but surely, went on to prove that he was the important link that tied all the characters together.
Robert Downey Jr. Almost Did Not Say His Iconic Line In Avengers: Endgame
In the climax of Avengers: Endgame, Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man has the last laugh over the mighty Thanos and his ‘I am invincible’ line, with his own iconic reply, ‘I am Iron Man’, before snapping his finger to his death while reducing his nemesis to dust. This scene, is widely considered as one of the MCU’s most popular sequences, despite the tragedy of Iron Man’s demise.
Fans though, almost did not get to see this memorable segment play out on screen, owing to Downey Jr.’s reluctance to perform the dialogue. According to the Russo brothers who directed the film, the Oppenheimer star was hesitant to let his emotions get the better of him as he was nearing his character’s death. Speaking to Cinema Blend, the filmmakers recalled the situation and how they finally succeeded in convincing Downey Jr. to go with the original line thanks to producer Joel Silver.
“And Joel jumps in and he’s like, ‘Robert, what are you talking about? That’s the greatest line I’ve ever heard! You gotta say this line! You have to do this!’ So thank God that Joel Silver was at dinner, because he helped us talk Robert into doing that line.”
Fortunately for the Russo Brothers and for the whole world, ‘I am Iron Man’ was retained in the film, and is still proof that a few simple words strung together can have an everlasting impact.