It’s no secret that Marvel didn’t originally want Robert Downey Jr. to play Iron Man because they weren’t sure if he could get asses in the seats. Director Jon Favreau on the other hand was more concerned with finding someone who had the right amount of charisma and attitude to make the character a likeable badass. Since Downey is the living personification of liquid cool you’d think Favreau would have noticed him right away but apparently he wasn’t his first choice either.
In an article from the Hero Complex over at the LA Times, Favreau gave an interview where he spoke about the casting process to find the right Tony Stark. He initially wanted Sam Rockwell to play the role because he fit the bill for everything he wanted and needed Stark to be.
“He was one of the actors I was looking at for Tony Stark,” Favreau said. “There was some things he would bring to the role that would have been great. Sam is very charismatic and when I was looking at the character there was a list and he had a spot on it, which might have surprised some people. Robert surprised some people, too, though, and now he is Tony Stark, he owns that role. Sam would have come up with interesting and different things.”
It looks like Favreau kind of got his way in the end because Rockwell appears as one of the villains in next month’s sequel, Iron Man 2. We still get to see him work his magic with his character Justin Hammer who they’ve completely revamped for the film. In the comic, he’s older and not nearly as, for lack of a better word, awesome. This might be our only glimpse into what would have been if he got hired as Stark instead of Downey.
With that being said, both actors are top notch in my book. The only thing that might give Downey the cutting edge is his ability to grow a nicely structured goatee and lets be honest isn’t that the key to pulling off a good Tony Stark? If you don’t have the right hair to face ratio, there’s no point of you even trying out.
Could you see Sam Rockwell as Iron Man? Do you think Favreau made the right choice?