24 Aug – Although the Marvel Cinematic Universe's success started with Robert Downey Jr's portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man, the studio's president Kevin Feige recently revealed that the decision to cast the actor in the first "Iron Man" movie in 2008 was actually a huge risk.
Feige, who spoke about Downey in an interview with CinemaBlend, stated that the move was a big gamble on the studio's part, seeing that the actor - amazing that he is - had not been an action star.
"He wasn't a marquee star, necessarily. And we quickly realised the risk, I've said this before, was not casting him. And Jon Favreau really had that vision for that movie and for Robert in that role. That decision, and the success of that decision, I think empowered us with further risks and further choices," he said.
Feige's gamble paid off big time, adding that, "It was both the biggest risk and the most important thing in the founding of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Without Robert, we wouldn't be sitting here today. I really believe that."
The success of Downey as Iron Man has also enabled Marvel to take more risks in its subsequent projects, including branching out into television via its Disney+ shows, and opting for unlikely filmmakers, like "Nomadland" director Chloe Zhao to helm the new movie, "Eternals".