DVD Release DateRobert Downey Jr remembers Marvel allowing "lunatics to run the asylum" during...

Robert Downey Jr remembers Marvel allowing “lunatics to run the asylum” during the making of the first Iron Man film

  • Robert Downey Jr. originally thought of Iron Man as a “second-tier” hero but was excited to work with Jon Favreau.
  • Iron Man had a smaller budget than later MCU films but earned over $585 million globally.
  • Downey Jr. considers his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man to be one of his best works, despite other critical failures like Dolittle.

Robert Downey Jr. was initially hesitant about taking on the role of Iron Man, seeing the character as a “second-tier” Marvel hero. Regardless, he was excited to be working with director Jon Favreau. In a recent actors’ roundtable for The Hollywood Reporter, Downey Jr. expressed his admiration for Favreau and the indie approach to the genre movie they were creating. Iron Man had a budget of $140 million, significantly smaller than later Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films, but it went on to gross over $585.8 million worldwide.

At the roundtable discussion, Mark Ruffalo also brought up his role as the Hulk in the MCU, admitting he wouldn’t be where he is today without Downey Jr., who convinced him to join the superhero franchise. Both actors have recently starred in critically acclaimed projects—Downey Jr. in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and Ruffalo in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things. Downey Jr. received a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and is considered a top contender for the upcoming Oscars.

Although Robert Downey Jr. has received praise for his roles in films like Chaplin, Good Night, and Good Luck, and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, he is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Tony Stark in the MCU. On Rob Lowe’s Literally! podcast, he admitted to feeling “exposed” after leaving the Marvel cocoon, noting that some of the best work he’s ever done went unnoticed due to the genre. Despite this, his success and legacy as Iron Man continue to be celebrated by fans and critics alike.