Why Marvel Didn't Want to Cast Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man

Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of charismatic, lovable characters. From Chris Evans’s portrayal of the admirable Captain America, to Chris Pratt’s goofy Star-Lord, the actors behind our favorite superheroes all bring a unique style to their roles. But the most beloved of them all may be Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, whose 2008 film kicked off the MCU Phase One.

Though Iron Man made it seem as if Tony Stark was the role Downey was born to play, Marvel actively rooted against casting him. Years of bad publicity and multiple arrests related to drug and alcohol abuse and excessive partying made the Oscar-nominated actor a risk for the studio. (Downey lost roles in Wild Things and Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda due to insurance issues, and was fired from Ally McBeal following a 2001 arrest.) But Jon Favreau, who directed Iron Man and Iron Man 2, knew that Downey was the right actor for the job.

Though the studio rejected the idea of casting Downey several times, Favreau shared that, "It was my job as a director to show that it was the best choice creatively ... and now the Marvel Universe is the biggest franchise in film history."

"Everybody knew he was talented,” Favreau continued. “Certainly by studying the Iron Man role and developing that script I realized that the character seemed to line up with Robert in all the good and bad ways. And the story of Iron Man was really the story of Robert’s career."

In 2009, Downey earned his second Oscar nomination for Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder. In 2012, he was paid $50 million to appear in The Avengers and is currently the third highest-paid actor in the world.

DC's Penguin Rumored to Be Main Villain in The Batman

ABC Television, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
ABC Television, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Little information about Matt Reeves’s The Batman has been released, but a new report by We Got This Covered claims that Oswald Cobblepot, otherwise known as the Penguin, will be one of the main villains in the upcoming film.

Fans have been excited about this rumor since last year, when celebrities such as Josh Gad took notice. Gad took to Twitter at the time to throw his hat in the ring for the role of the Penguin.

Despite the actor’s enthusiasm, it remains unknown who will actually don the Penguin’s iconic top hat for the part. The report states that Reeves requested the Penguin not appear in the upcoming Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn), which will be released in February 2020.

This rumor lines up with previous ones that named the Penguin as a very possible choice for the film’s main antagonist. Last May, Variety’s Justin Kroll reported he was “hearing the Penguin is possibly the choice to play the main villain” in the highly anticipated film.

Last month, rumors swirled that Warner Bros. was eyeing Jonah Hill for the role after Reeves and Birds of Prey star Margot Robbie both followed Hill on social media. Nick Frost and Andy Serkis have also been rumored as possible choices.

Adding to all the speculation, Gad again took to Twitter to tease the role, either hinting he has been cast as the Penguin, or just reiterating his desire to play him.

Reeves has kept fans in the dark during the development stages of the The Batman. "There are ways in which all of this connects to DC, to the DC universe as well," Reeves said last year. "We’re one piece of many pieces so I don’t want to comment on that except to say that I’m focused very specifically on this aspect of the DC world."

If rumors claiming that The Batman will begin filming in November are true, more information about the cast should be revealed in the coming months.

Marvel Timeline Shows That The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and Thor Took Place in One Week

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

Comic book fans are aware that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a shared one, where events that happen in our favorite superheroes' lives happen in the same world. But what some of even the most diehard Marvel fans might not know is that some pretty major MCU events have actually happened at the very same time. In fact, the events of The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and Thor all took place within the same week.

An old infographic from The Art of Marvel’s The Avengers depicts the timelines of all six individual Avengers movies in extreme detail, going so far as to break down each week into day and night, clearly explaining when and how each moment took place.

Day one starts off with S.H.I.E.L.D. monitoring Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, and Jane Foster, and ends with Stark and James Rhodes battling it out in Stark’s Malibu mansion.

The infographic shows that within the same week of Stark Expo exploding in Queens, the Incredible Hulk took on the Abomination in Harlem in what came to be known as the "Duel of Harlem," Asgard was attacked, and the tiny town of Puente Antiguo, New Mexico was demolished.

The time period—which ends with the Hulk defeating the Abomination and is known as “Fury’s Big Week” (though it's a pretty busy one for S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson, too)—is one of the busiest weeks in the entire history of the MCU, and leads up to the key moment where the Avengers Assemble!

Avengers: Endgame, the final film in the Avengers series, will arrive in theaters on April 26, 2019.

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