Before he would play a major role in establishing the Marvel Cinematic Universe by playing Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr. nearly played the Fantastic Four’s most iconic villain — Doctor Doom.
Was Robert Downey Jr. almost cast as Doctor Doom?
In a retrospective conversation video focused on the 15th anniversary of the original Iron Man movie, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Iron Man director Jon Favreau discussed the process of choosing Robert Downey Jr. for the lead role of Tony Stark/Iron Man. As they spoke about the actor, Favreau mentioned that Downey Jr. had
“I remember you had all met with him [Robert Downey Jr.] already for Doctor Doom or something on another project — I think he had come through on … maybe Fantastic Four,” the director stated. “So everybody sort of knew who he was. I remember sitting down with the guy, and I was like, ‘Geez … he’s got that spark in his eye and he’s ready.”
Robert Downey Jr. would go on to play Iron Man from the original 2008 movie until Avengers: Endgame in 2019. The character headlined three solo movies and played a major role in Captain America: Civil War and in each of the Avengers movies.
Doctor Doom was played by Julian McMahon in Tim Story’s two Fantastic Four movies in the early 2000s and by Toby Kebbell in 2015’s Fantastic Four.