If Robert Downey Jr. hadn’t landed the role of Iron Man, which other Marvel character would he have wanted to play? Any guesses?
As one of the most beloved stars of the MCU, Robert Downey Jr. has become synonymous with Iron Man; after all, he played the character for 11 years! That said, it’s certainly hard to picture RDJ as anyone other than Tony Stark, especially since his film kicked off the entire MCU.
But leave it to children to ask the tough questions! During a recent interview with BBC Radio 1 to promote his new movie Dolittle, Robert Downey Jr. responded to queries submitted by kids. A 10-year old boy named William posed an interesting one: If he weren’t cast as Iron Man, what superhero would he want to be? “I can’t think of any red-blooded American boy that didn’t imagine themselves as Spider-Man growing up,” RDJ replied.
Typical response, right? But it seems that his official answer has changed since his own childhood – and since he’s now forever linked to the superhero world. RDJ continued: “However, looking back on it now – also because I’m just such a Jeremy Renner fan, and he made it so cool, particularly when he turns into Ronin [in Avengers: Endgame] — I would say Hawkeye would be my go-to.”
Now, Robert Downey Jr. is no slouch. He kept his body in impeccable shape to play Iron Man year after year. But can you imagine RDJ running and sliding and scaling immense heights with something as low-tech as a bow and arrow? The few times Tony Stark was forced to fight without his armor in the MCU it didn’t go so well for the billionaire Avenger. His battle on the racetrack with Whiplash in Iron Man 2 could have been deadly if not for the quick arrival of Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts with his briefcase travel-armor. And in Iron Man 3, Tony is forced to operate for a good portion of screen time without his tin can. (He makes do by visiting a hardware store and cobbling together some gadgets Home Alone-style to take on the baddies.) Then there’s the time ol’ shell head was almost killed in a brief fight with the Winter Soldier early on in Captain America: Civil War. When given a chance, Bucky doesn’t hesitate to take a shot at Tony, who’s only wearing a business suit and tie. Stark is miraculously saved by a small wrist-mounted repulsor blaster that blocks the bullet.
But of course, that was the character of Iron Man going through all that, even though RDJ was in the costume. Now, after you try visualizing Robert Downey Jr. as Clint Barton, who in the world would you pick to fill his Iron Man suit?