CBM News: From The Archives - Robert Downey Jr. Cast as The Invincible Iron Man

In a previous instalment of CBM News: From The Archives we looked at the casting of Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, today we look another strange casting choice. This time Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. Never before has a casting felt so wrong, yet so right...

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By ComicBuzz - 10/24/2011


Article: Robert Downey Jr. Cast as The Invincible Iron Man
Date: 29th September 2006
Contributor: ComicBookMovie

Thanks for taking time to read the fourth instalment of CBM News: From The Archives.

I always think its interesting to look back at news stories from the past and look at how accurate they were when we look back now - this feature is really meant to get people thinking about how news is reported in a way that is usually as dramatic as possible - and sometimes entirely incorrect with the benefit of hindsight.

Iron Man, had been in development since 1990 where it moved from studio to studio - until in 2006 Marvel reacquired the rights and put it into production as its first in house big screen adaptation.

While in development between studios a number of actors had stated their interest in portraying Tony Stark, of course - comic book fan Nicolas Cage was in the mix, as he always tends to be when a comic book movie is being produced. Interestingly, Tom Cruise had also voiced his desire to star as Iron Man.

In 2006, after Jon Favreau had been announced to direct he went on record talking to The Calgary Sun saying:

[I want] someone with experience but a low profile.

Stars bring too much baggage with them. I don't think Daredevil benefited by casting Ben Affleck at the height of his popularity, even if he did desperately want to play the character.


So, based on that description you wouldn't expect this announcement to follow soon after on ComicBookMovie.com

Robert Downey Jr. Cast as The Invincible Iron Man

Jon Favreau's MySpace.com website has confirmed reports that Robert Downey Jr. has been cast to play Iron Man for Marvel Studios! The movie will be distributed by Paramount Pictures on May 2, 2008.

The movie will be based upon Marvel's Invincible Iron Man comic book, and follow the story of a billionaire weapons-manufacturer and playboy, Tony Stark. Downey Jr. will play Stark, who, equipped with a high-tech suit of armor, combats the evil villain Mandarin.

Art Marcum & Matt Holloway and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby wrote the film's screenplay. Filming will start in February.

Thanks go to Adam for the scoop!


Now, this announcement is a little understated in my opinion - while we on ComicBookMovie seemed to see this coming, the internet was queuing up to question the casting decision. They weren't bashing the decision, most people were just a little confused about it. Fan reaction was mixed.

I don't know if Robert is the guy for the job. They better not screw this movie up, Ironman is one of my favorite superheroes.


This is going to be interesting. I like the choice because of Downey's past may help him become the character of Stark...but I don't know if I can see him physically as the character.


Now I remember at this time being initially confused by the casting - but literally within five or so minutes realising how genius it was. Robert Downey Jr. is one of the best actors of his generation, and up to this point had made films for much smaller audiences. He was certainly an actor that could pull of Tony Stark - RDJ life seemed to loosely mirror the life of Stark - and this was something he intended to put into the portrayal. He joked about the similarities in an interview with he gave at the première:

I loved playing Iron Man. That suit fitted me like a gold titanium glove.

It was a huge departure for me, but I hope we give the audience their money's worth.


What do you think? Were you unsure about RDJ casting at the time? Share your thoughts below, and also let me know if there is anything you would like me to explore.

Check out CBM: From The Archives Issue 1 : Batman 5 In The Works

Check out CBM: From The Archives Issue 2 : Nolan Defends Ledger As Joker

Check out CBM: From The Archives Issue 3 : CBM News: From The Archives - Bryan Singer Planning Superman Sequel

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2 Comments
RunDTC - 10/24/2011, 8:34 AM
love reading these, especially since all these were before I discovered this site and kept up with rumors.
Hellsing - 10/24/2011, 12:43 PM
He IS Iron Man, perfect casting IMO. I've heard alot of people talking about how his version of stark isn't serious enough, starks never been the brooding type, the movie version has more wit. Any ways hopefully Disney/Marvel have the balls to do full on adaptation of Demon in a Bottle not some half ass'd attempt.

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