When it comes to the greatest career turnarounds in Hollywood, it’s hard to look past Robert Downey Jr.; a decade ago he couldn’t even get insured for a movie role, and now he’s the highest-paid star in Hollywood – thanks to The Avengers and Iron Man 3, which grossed close to $3 billion between them – not to mention the crown jewel of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.
Before he reprises the role of Iron Man for next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, RDJ has returned to his indie roots, reuniting with Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau for the comedy Chef, and during a recent interview Favreau has spoken about the “big gamble” of casting the actor as Stark in 2008’s Iron Man:
“I remember when we cast Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man, and I was told no several times,” Favreau tells 100.3 Jack FM. “It was my job as a director to show that it was the best choice creatively…and now the Marvel Universe is the biggest franchise in film history… Everybody knew he was talented… Certainly by studying the Iron Man role and developing that script I realized that the character seemed to line-up with Robert in all the good and bad ways. And the story of Iron Man was really the story of Robert’s career. That was a big gamble on whether or not he was really serious about it…and now history has definitely proven that he was dead serious about it and now he is the biggest star in the world.”
Chef opens in the UK on June 25th while Downey is currently shooting Avengers: Age of Ultron, which sees him reuniting with fellow Marvel veterans Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (The Incredible Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Paul Bettany (JARVIS / The Vision) and franchise newcomers Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass 2) as Quicksilver, Elizabeth Olsen (Oldboy) as the Scarlet Witch, James Spader (The Blacklist) as Ultron, Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula) as Baron Strucker and Josh Brolin (Men in Black 3) as Thanos.