There was a time the Marvel Cinematic Universe Robert Downey Jr. would have missed out on the Iron Man’s role because he was seen as not ‘family-friendly’ enough.
Iron Man became an important commercial hit that established the MCU franchise, and its success depended on Robert Downey Jr role.
Robert Downey Jr. had trouble getting the role because of his former substance abuse which got him fired from Ally McBeal. On top of that, the Hollywood actor could not get any insurance.
Marvel casting director Sarah Finn explained in an Avengers:Endgame featurette on Disney+ that Robert Downey Jr at that point in his career was not a family-friendly name and he did not have people’s approval to be part of the film at first.
Concerns were raised about whether he was an action hero or if his name can promote a family movie. Jon Favreau liked the idea of Downey playing the role and Finn felt they were sure about him on a creative level.
Finn also shared that because Robert Downey Jr. isn’t a slam-dunk approval and they were reading other people and looking at it, she suggested that they had screen tests and let the best person win.
The choice to cast Robert Downey Jr. was a good decision with the actor up for Oscar consideration for his performance in Avengers:Endgame.
In Iron Man 2, the issues of substance abuse and addiction were explored but just don’t ask RDJ about it in an interview.
Born Robert John Downey Jr., is an American actor, producer and singer.
In his youth, he went through a period of substance abuse and legal troubles before recovering and gaining success in his middle age.
Named by Time magazine as the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008, he was also named by Forbes as Hollywood’s highest-paid actor from 2013 to 2015.