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Robert Downey Jr auditioned for best Marvel villain before Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr may have played one of the most iconic Marvel characters in the MCU, but this casting trivia reveals the surprising role he almost got.

Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man

Tony Stark might be one of the best MCU characters since day one. And without Iron Man, the Marvel Cinematic Universe might not have hit the heights it did. Although the success of the superhero movie can be attributed to the snarky, charismatic character, we have to give some praise to the man himself — Robert Downey Jr.

And while we’re used to seeing him as the billionaire playboy through countless Marvel movies, he very nearly played an entirely different role altogether. In fact, we came pretty close to seeing him step into the shoes of a Marvel villain instead.

To celebrate 15 years of Iron Man movies, original director Jon Favreau and Marvel president Kevin Feige sat down to chat about the action movie series and reminisce on one of its biggest triumphs — the leading man of the Iron Man cast.

“I remember that Robert had come in for a general [audition] on it, and I remember you had all met with him already for Doctor Doom or something, on another project,” Favreau told Feige. “I think he had come through on maybe Fantastic Four.”

“So everybody knew who he was, and I was sitting down with the guy, and I was like, ‘Geez, he’s got that spark with him, in his eye, and he’s ready.'”

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Luckily, they fought to get him in for a screen test (footage of which you can see in the above video), and the rest, as they say, is history. While we would have loved to see Robert Downey Jr try something a little more villainous, we’ll always think of him as the superhero who brought the world’s biggest cinematic universe to life.

We’re keeping you in the loop with all the new movies coming to Marvel’s Phase 5, including the Blue Beetle release date and The Marvels release date. Is the small screen more your thing? Check out what we know about the Secret Invasion release date, and see all the best Marvel series ranked.

We’ve also got plenty of theories working hard, including why we think the most popular Spider-Man variant is missing from Spider-Verse 2. You can also check out how many superpowered features made their way onto our list of the best movies of all time.