Nolan praises Downey Jr. cast as Iron Man
While he spent more time with Batman than Iron Man, director Christopher Nolan has praised the move to have Downey Jr. cast in the title role.
Although he had been on a small roll by 2008, he was a star Zodiac, Scanner to Darkness and, uh, The Shaggy Dog, Robert Downey Jr. was far from a box office attraction. So it was a huge risk for Jon Favreau to even consider Robert Downey Jr. to be cast in the film that would launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe, iron man. It really paid off in big dividends and the casting has been cited as a major reason for the success of the MCU. Now, someone with ties not to Iron Man but Batman suggested the move.
Talking about the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Christopher Nolan praised director Jon Favreau for taking the risk of casting Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man aka Tony Stark. “I thought when [Jon] Favreau had the foresight to cast him as Iron Man…This is one of the greatest casting decisions in movie history. And you look at what that did and where that went with everything. And I think that Jon just knows an amazing actor, what an amazing ability it was from Downey. And then the charisma of the movie star, that amazing charisma comes into play. “ However, Nolan also noted that the star would have to tone down that charisma to play Lewis Strauss – the main antagonist of J. Robert Oppenheimer – urging Downey Jr. “Lose yourself in this real person.”
With iron man titled Robert Downey Jr., the film would become the second highest grossing film of 2008, behind only Nolan’s film. The Dark Knight, something of a miracle considering the actor’s reputation at the time and the fact that Iron Man was not considered a box office hit by any of the bigger Marvel properties. But, he clearly did, setting the wheels in motion for the most profitable franchise in film history. As Marvel president Kevin Feige said, “I think, still, the biggest risk – which seems like a horror to say now – is to cast Robert Downey Jr. It was both the biggest threat and the most important thing in the establishment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Without Robert, we would not be sitting here today. I really believe that.” Downey Jr. would playing the character many times, including his own trilogy and all four Avengers movies. One wonders if it would have turned out that way if Timothy Olyphant had gotten the part…
What is your favorite performance from Robert Downey Jr. like Iron Man? Let us know below!