Everyone has a favorite character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe including Marvel Studios president and Marvel's chief creative officer Kevin Feige. Although Feige has a hard time admitting that he does have a favorite out of the dozens of heroes introduced on the big screen through 23 movies in Marvel's Infinity Saga, he goes back to the beginning to reveal his favorite. As it turns out, Feige's favorite character and "spirit" character from the MCU is none other than Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, the character which launched the entire big screen franchise all the way back in 2008.
Feige was asked about his favorites during a panel at the New York Film Academy, with someone rephrasing the question as which Marvel Cinematic Universe hero would be his spirit animal.
"Well, first, let me compliment you on new spin on the question, who's your favorite Marvel hero?'" Feige said. "I always equate that to, I have two kids, people go, 'Which one's your favorite?' That doesn't work. Usually the answer to that question is whatever I'm working on now and whatever is encompassing the majority of my time or brain space but, because I'm still nostalgic off of Endgame and literally can't believe that I'm talking to you in an era where I have finished the Infinity Saga and have done our 22, 23 counting Far From Home, movies, in Infinity Saga and brought that to a close... so I'm nostalgic for Iron Man from where it started and where it finished."
For Feige, 2008's Iron Man was something special. "All of our instincts went into that," Feige said. "It's true we didn't have the marquee characters, meaning the characters that either already hada movie or already had a TV show or an animated series. The other studios had X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Hulk. We had everything else but Iron Man seemed very unique. I remember speaking to a marketing department at Paramount because Paramount released that movie and I said, 'If we do our job right, Tony Stark will be as famous as Iron Man.'"
In fact, Downey's casting was Feige's first act. "Literally the first decision I made, the first decision I made and was allowed to make and allowed to try to pursue as president of Marvel Studios was casting Robert Downey Jr," Feige explained. "It would either be great or it would be one big dumpster fire."