Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Robert Downey Jr. Almost Played This Surprising Marvel Villain

It seems impossible to imagine the Marvel Cinematic Universe without Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. When he joined the eponymous film in 2008, Marvel Studios was not the powerhouse it is today, and the movie was a bit of a gamble for the studio. Casting Downey Jr., too, also wasn't without risks. In the business since the 1980s, the actor's struggles with addiction and the law were well-documented, and had caused a hit to his career. When it was time to find Tony Stark, though, director Jon Favreau and co. thought he was the one–and we truly can't imagine any other actor playing the iconic character.

While "Iron Man" can be credited with revitalizing Downey Jr.'s career, it turns out that it wasn't the first time the talented actor was considered for a Marvel role. The studio had been previously eyeing him to play one of Marvel Comic's greatest villains — but which one?

Robert Downey Jr. was almost Doctor Doom

In the new book "The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe," an extensive guide to the entire MCU, Jon Favreau revealed that Marvel had previously met with Robert Downey Jr. to play Doctor Doom (via The Direct). This was likely for 2005's "Fantastic Four," in which Australian actor Julian McMahon portrayed the iconic villain. 

Fans will remember Chris Evans as Johnny Storm in "Fantastic Four" as well as its sequel "Rise of the Silver Surfer." Evans still went on to play Captain America in the MCU, so even if Downey Jr. had been cast as Doctor Doom, it's possible he could have became Iron Man, too. After all, the Fantastic Four characters only joined the MCU in 2019 when Disney acquired Fox, and a new film is currently in development.

Ultimately, though, we have to say we're glad that Downey Jr. never became Doctor Doom. His performance as Tony Stark is largely part of what made 2008's "Iron Man" such a success — and without that film, we would never have the MCU we know and love today. We are excited, though, to see who will play the well-known antagonist in the upcoming Fantastic Four film, and with Marvel's incredible casting choices, we are confident it will be someone great.