The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is indebted to a number of factors. But without Robert Downey Jr. playing Tony Stark, this grand experiment in filmmaking may never have taken off. Downey’s casting in Iron Man certainly took a lot of fans by surprise when it was announced back in 2006. Now, Fandango has offered a look at the actor’s original screen test, which proved to be the first stepping stone in making the MCU a reality. You can check it out for yourself via Twitter below.
What’s the number of love you would give for Robert Downey Jr’s decade-long performance as #IronMan? Watch his audition tape before he landed the iconic role! #AvengersEndgame can be pre-ordered to own now! Available July 30 on digital via FandangoNOW: https://t.co/PXAquXLuFa pic.twitter.com/eBoGC3szuy
— Fandango (@Fandango) July 16, 2019
The clip is part of a featurette that will appear on Avengers: Endgame’s upcoming home media release. It features Jon Favreau, casting director Sarah Halley Finn, and Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito reflecting on Downey’s Iron Man tenure. Favreau has often said that convincing the studio that he was the right man for the job was the biggest obstacle he faced in getting the film made. Fortunately, he wasn’t without allies. According to Finn, they actually liked the fact that Downey was an unusual choice to bring Tony Stark to life.
“Jon was in love with the idea of Downey playing the part,” said Finn. “And we all felt so sure about him on a creative level because he wasn’t instantly a slam-dunk approval.”
RELATED: Avengers: Endgame Star Robert Downey Jr. Discusses Tony Stark’s Arc
The ensuing screen test, which took place in September 2006, shows a different version of Tony’s conversation with Christine Everheart about Stark Industries’ weapons manufacturing at the beginning of the film. At the time, Downey wasn’t a dead ringer for the armored Avenger, since he hadn’t grown his signature goatee yet. Thankfully, this didn’t seem to matter. Finn recalled the actor “laughing and in great spirits and completely at ease.” However, Downey himself admitted that it was a nerve-wracking ordeal.
“I wouldn’t call it an out-of-body experience, but it was one of those rushes that I’m sure somebody would feel if they were about to play a big sporting arena,” said Downey. “It was just like, ‘Am I gonna pass out or am I gonna nail this?’”
“On that day that Robert screen-tested, it was clear that there was no one else who could play that part,” added D’Esposito.
What are you going to miss the most about Robert Downey Jr.’s performance as Iron Man? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Marvel Encyclopedia, New Edition