Marvel Had "Family-Friendly" Concerns Around Casting Robert Downey as Iron Man

Marvel Studios casting director Sarah Finn, who has been on board the MCU since the very first movie (2008's Iron Man) says in an interview for Avengers: Endgame bonus features on Disney+ that Marvel Studios was no immediately on board with the casting of Robert Downey, Jr., in spite of how obvious it now seems to have cast him in the role of Tony Stark/Iron Man. She admitted that his recent arrests and drug use, which got him fired from Ally McBeal and cost him more than one job when he couldn't get insurance, were a concern for a studio that was looking to make what she described as a "family-friendly" film.

Finn admitted that Jon Favreau was the one who pitched Downey, and that they "kept coming back to" him because of the characteristics he would bring to Stark. That was similar to the story that Favreau has told recently, saying that the studio was reluctant to get on board with the actor and he essentially forced the issue.

"Robert Downey, Jr., at that point in his career, wasn't necessarily a 'family-friendly' name," Finn admitted. "There were concerns about, was he an action her? Was he a name that would promote a family movie? Jon was in love with the idea of Downey playing the part and we all felt so sure about him on a creative level...Becuase he wasn't instantly a slam-dunk approval, as we were reading other people and looking at it, I suggested we had screen tests and let the best person win."

She said that while they were casting, he was singing "God, I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line, and that when he got in front of the cameras, that was the turning poing in the casting process. Producer Louis D'Esposito later said that the hire was the best decision Marvel ever made.

The world of Marvel is getting laid bare as Disney+ launches and these documentaries and the like give more and more secrets about the franchise's past, present, and future.

"The first time we shot it, Peter and Tony reunite and Pepper's nearby, and Tony goes, 'Uh, Peter, do you know Pepper?" "Nice to meet you!'" Avengers: Endgame editor Jeff Ford said. "It's one of those crazy meet-cutes in the middle of a fight. He hugs him and they have this thing, but it felt very incidental, like they ran into each other at an airport or something. We watched it, and they were both great in the scene, but it was like a comedy scene, so it had this schtick quality to it. By the way, we did not yet know how powerful Peter disappearing was [in Infinity War] when we shot that first version. We had shot it, I think, but we hadn't tested it, we hadn't lived with it and actually done the [effect] of [him] going away, so when the audience had that reaction, we're like, this reunion is different now. It's a different thing."

There is no question that fans had become quite comfortable with the Spider-Man and Iron Man relationship. The emotional moments between the two had become essentially must-see moments late in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Uncle Ben is nowhere to be found in these movies and a lot of fans were confused. For Tom Holland, he feels like that dynamic has been taken up by his relationship with Robert Downey Jr.

The scene raises some questions about the fact that most fans assumed Pepper had met Peter when she and Happy encountered him in Spider-Man: Homecoming.


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Other upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Disney+ series without release dates include Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk. Ant-Man 3 and Blade are also without theatrical release dates.