Published May 24, 2023

Kevin Feige and Jon Favreau Reflect on Casting Robert Downey Jr. in 'Iron Man'

“That’s probably one of the greatest decisions in the history of Hollywood.”

To celebrate Iron Man’s 15th anniversary, president of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige and Iron Man’s director Jon Favreau recently sat down for a wide-ranging conversation about the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (before that was even a thing and an acronym) and maybe one of the greatest decisions in the history of Hollywood: Casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark.

“I think that's probably one of the greatest decisions in the history of Hollywood,” Feige commented. “I remember on later movies…I would say, Robert, we wouldn't be in this mess if it wasn't for you. Meaning we wouldn't have a studio if it wasn't for you.”

Casting Downey Jr. as Tony Stark — who, after being trapped in a cave with a bunch of scraps manages to construct a meatal Iron Man suit — put the 2008 film on the map and on course for greatness. Downey Jr. was first considered for a completely different Marvel project and came into the Iron Man auditions simply for a general audition.

“I remember sitting down with [Robert] and I was like, he just got it and he's got that spark in him and his eye and he's ready,” Favreau recalls. “Once it was him, that's when my life got a lot easier.”

Favreau remembers staying up with Downey Jr. after filming would wrap for the day so they could rewrite and rework scenes together, because Downey Jr. “had a very [high] standard that he wanted to hit with, not wanting this to feel basic. He wanted it to be special.”

But that’s not all the duo touch on. Listen to their full discussion in the video above.

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Trailers & Extras

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