Variety is reporting that well known actor Robert Downey Jr. will be throwing back the alcohol and downing the red and yellow for the Jon Favreau helmed Iron Man movie. This is the first action movie for the actor, who is better known for his roles in Good Night, Good Luck, Wonder Boys, Chaplin, and The Singing Detective. Running down his credits at Imdb, the closest thing to flying Downey has down has been when he dangled from a helicopter in Air America. Downey should have no trouble getting into the Stark role, has he has had trouble with sobriety in the past.
Iron Man is scheduled for a May 2008 release. This will be the first self-financed film Marvel will undertake. According to Merrill Lynch, Marvel is allowed to spend $165 million per flick.
Iron Man tells the story of Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence and ingenuity, Tony builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. Upon his return to America, Tony must come to terms with his past. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man.
I’m very interested to receive word from Marvel on why Downey was selected for the role. Of all the available actors in H-land, Downey would not have been in the top ten of actors I would have approached for the lead. Downey is a good actor – there’s no denying that, but if he can’t pull this off, it could spell doom for Marvel (no pun intended). Iron Man is a multi film deal. The first film out of the gate will focus on Tony’s building and using the Iron Man suit for the first time. Subsequent flicks will no doubt pit Stark against other foes, and if you read the report I posted a month or so ago, there is a good chance, Downey will show up in an Avengers movie down the road.
So who would I have selected to play Tony Stark?
Timothy Dalton comes to mind as the first choice. I may be biased because Alex Ross used Dalton as reference during his Marvels run, and I haven’t been able to get that match up out of my mind since.
The rumors were flying this summer on Tom Cruise getting the nod, I can actually see that match up. However, after the disappointing box office returns for Mission Impossible 3, TomCat, and Oprah, that pretty much killed the Iron Man deal.
I was a huge fan of the BWM “The Driver” films that circulated on the Interweb many years ago. Clive Owen could have easily filled the big iron boots. Wonder where he is? Oh, right, that Sin City thing…
So did Favreau and Marvel goof on this one? Time will tell, and so will you in the comments section.
via Variety (link)