It was a different time before the advent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Looking back, it’s amazing how far the genre has progressed. Blade, X-Men, and Spider-Man helped lay the groundwork for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Studio such as Fox, Sony, and Universal adapted some of Marvel’s most well-known characters before the MCU was formed. Yes, there were films that ranged from classics like Spider-Man 2 to critical flops like Fantastic 4 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but the quality of these films was consistently high.
Of course, if Iron Man hadn’t been such a commercial hit, nothing else would have taken off. It all came down to Tony Stark, who was the key to a level of success that no one could have predicted. Robert Downey Jr. is so Iron Man that it’s hard to envision him in any other role. He hasn’t done much outside of Marvel since his time in the MCU, with Sherlock Holmes his largest movie wherein he isn’t in a metal suit being his biggest outing. Nobody knew that before he was cast as Iron Man’s villain, Doctor Doom, the well-known actor had another role in mind for him.
The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: has hit the shelves, and it’s packed with tonnes of new facts about how the MCU came to be. When the book discusses the hiring of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Iron Man director Jon Favreau quietly drops the most intriguing bit of information into the conversation.
When it came to casting Robert Downey Jr. to play Doctor Doom, he said Marvel had previously met with him. This would have been for the Fantastic Four movie in 2005, most likely. Those characters couldn’t be used by Marvel Studios when they were casting Tony Stark because Fox held complete rights to them.
It’s odd to imagine Robert Downey Jr. as Victor Von Doom. That the casting was ever a topic of discussion at all is incredible. But it isn’t because the actor isn’t good enough to play Doctor Doom; he is, after all, amazing as Tony Stark. What a thrill it would be if he played that role in the future, thanks to the Multiverse. It’s absurd to conceive of Downey Jr. as the Infamous Iron Man.
Downey Jr. would have replaced Julian McMahon, a talented award-winning actor who was handed a bad script to work with because this meeting was likely for Fantastic Four in 2005. We can safely conclude Tony Stark was a good part of Tom Hiddleston and that he doesn’t regret taking it on because his career would be in a much worse place today without it. Because of his work as the Marvel hero, Robert Downey Jr. was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood for a long time. The interesting thing to ponder is who would have been Iron Man if Downey Jr. had taken over as Fox’s Doctor Doom instead.
In the past, stars like Tom Cruise and Sam Rockwell have been mentioned as possible choices for the role of Tony Stark. Since neither actor seems likely to stick around in the MCU for the same length of time as Robert Downey Jr., who knows where the Marvel universe maybe today? Doctor Doom will appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some time in the near future. There’s a good chance that, with Fantastic Four on the way, someone will openly cast the role of Sue Storm. The Fantastic Four’s most famous adversary has long been criticized by fans, thus Marvel Studios may decide to wait several years before casting the legendary Latverian.