The Russo Brothers Discuss What Made Robert Downey Jr. So Successful
When historians look back at the rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the age of the superhero movie, it is Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man who will be the poster boy for this golden age.
Downey Jr. first played Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man, and would go on to reprise his role in 10 total films. His MCU story would end with his character’s sacrificial death in Avengers: Endgame.
Marvel Has Seemed Lost Without Downey
Since Downey Jr. bowed out from the MCU alongside fellow stars Chris Evans and Scarlet Johansson, Marvel has struggled to live up to the lofty standards that it set for itself at the box office.
In fact, things have gotten so dire that many have floated the idea that Marvel could look to resurrect Tony Stark and bring Downey Jr. back into the fold.
While Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently shot down rumors that Iron Man could return, the fact remains — Robert Downey Jr. was the heart of the MCU.
The Russo Brothers Discuss What Made Downey Special
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed Avengers: Endgame, gave some insight into why they believe Downey Jr. was so successful.
Joe Russo explained how the actor was notorious for “throwing the plan out the window and climbing on top of the couch and whatever, sort of going off-book.” He added, “He does this because he likes to surprise himself. And he likes to keep things fresh. He lights up for that.”
Anthony Russo meanwhile argued that there is “no other way that he could have played that character for 10 movies unless he was doing that. Robert has certainly lived a complicated life. He understands the stakes, he understands loss, he understands the turns life can take between ups and downs. He’s always looking for that level of depth, that level of complexity. I think he knows that’s what we all come to movies for in the first place.”
No matter what the secret to Robert Downey Jr.’s success, the fact remains Marvel lost its heart when the actor left the MCU.