Kevin Feige Says Robert Downey Jr.'s Casting was Marvel's Biggest Risk

Credit: Marvel Studios

Credit: Marvel Studios

These days, the idea of Iron Man being played by another actor seems unfathomable because Robert Downey Jr. pretty much owned the role and that statement is far from an over-exaggeration and definitely not an unpopular opinion. But if you've been following the Marvel Cinematic Universe since its inception over a decade ago, you're probably aware that RDJ's casting was deemed questionable by a lot of people considering his controversial past and his Hollywood status.

Obviously, Downey's critics eventually ate their words as the MCU became a box office juggernaut, producing some of the highest-grossing films over the last decade. Not only did his involvement turn him into an overnight sensation but the success of the original Iron Man film served as Downey's redemption story.

Unsurprisingly, Marvel Studios acknowledged it from the get-go and even Kevin Feige admits that casting Downey in the role back in 2007 was a huge gamble in itself. In a recent conversion with CinemaBlend, the Marvel Studios head said that Robert's career-making casting "was both the biggest risk and the most important thing in the founding of the Marvel Cinematic Universe" and if it wasn't for him, the franchise wouldn't have ceased to exist.

Feige explains: "He was an amazing actor. Everybody knew he was an amazing actor. But he hadn't been an action star. He wasn't a marquee star, necessarily. And we quickly realized the risk, I've said this before, was not casting him. And Jon Favreau really had that vision for that movie and for Robert in that role. That decision, and the success of that decision, I think empowered us with further risks and further choices."

Also Read: Robert Downey Jr. Shockingly Unfollows Marvel Cast on Instagram and Fans are Heartbroken

A lot of people can be credited for the success of the MCU but there's no doubt that Robert Downey Jr. was the one who propelled it to even greater heights and there's a reason why fans are still talking about him today despite the fact that he's no longer involved in the franchise.

Meanwhile, the Iron Man trilogy is available for streaming on Disney+.

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Credit: marvel studios
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