Marvel’s Biggest Star was originally supposed to play their biggest villain

Robert Downey Jr. was originally wanted to play Doctor Doom in the 2005 Fantastic Four movie.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

Robert Downey Jr signature Marvel costume

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and filmmaker Jon Favreau say Robert Downey Jr. was originally in the running to play Doctor Doom in a Fantastic Four movie. The actor, who became a pivotal part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Tony Stark/Iron Man, had met with the studio for the role of Victor Von Doom long before casting for Iron Man began.

The pair made the reveal during an Iron Man 15-year retrospective, where they discussed how Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark. “I remember that Robert had come for a general (audition), and I remember that you all had already met him for Doctor Doom, or something like that, for another project… maybe, Fantastic fourFavreau said. Feige replied with a simple, “Good, good.”

Robert Downey Jr’s Doctor Doom casting probably references 2005’s Fantastic four, produced by 20th Century Fox, for which Kevin Feige served as executive producer. The film, directed by Tim Story, stars Julian McMahon as Victor Von Doom/Doctor Doom. The actor reprized the role in the 2007 sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

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Julian McMahon as Doctor Doom

Joseph Culp played Doctor Doom in Roger Corman’s defunct 1994 film, The Fantastic Four, which was never released. After McMahon, Toby Kebbell took on the role for 20th Century Fox’s 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four.

Although Robert Downey Jr. was never cast as Doctor Doom, he made an indelible mark in the field of superhero movies. He launched the MCU in 2008 Iron Man and reprized the role of Tony Stark The Incredible Hulk, iron man 2, The Avengers, iron man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil WarAnd Spider Man: Coming Home.

Robert Downey Jr. made his final appearance as Iron Man in the two-part Infinity Saga – Avengers: Infinite War And Avengers: endgame in 2018 and 2019 respectively. You could wax lyrical about how fitting it is that the actor who flawlessly embodied Iron Man for an entire decade was once considered for the role of Doctor Doom.

In the comic books, Victor Von Doom once took on the mantle of Iron Man in the Notorious iron man storyline created by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. The series ran from 2016 to 2017. The first issue appeared in October 2016 with reasonable success. It sold 73,735 in its first month and was the 23rd most popular title at the time of release.

Robert Downey Jr. will next appear as Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer. The biographical thriller is based on the 2005 book American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Cillian Murphy stars as J. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist from the United States known as the “father of the atomic bomb.”

Along with Robery Downey Jr. the supporting cast includes Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Benny Safdie, Michael Angarano, Josh Hartnett and Kenneth Branagh. The film is currently in post-production.

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