Marvel fans are ever-thankful for Robert Downey Jr. taking on the job of playing Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man. Without that piece of perfect casting, the MCU might have fallen flat on its face at the first hurdle and the phenomenally successful franchise probably wouldn’t be with us today.
Here’s something fans of the Armored Avenger will enjoy, then. As shared by The Hollywood Reporter, down below you’ll see the first ever screen test Downey did for Iron Man. That’s right, you can now travel back in time to a decade ago and watch the fascinating audition piece, which will surely put a smile on the face of many a Marvel fan.
#Marvel fun fact no. 3: Robert Downey Jr.’s first crack at billionaire playboy genius Tony Stark in his screen test for the original #IronMan was somewhat insufferable and fairly dark. Watch: pic.twitter.com/v8nXyJY0lE
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 30, 2018
As THR points out, what’s most interesting about this screen test is just how different Downey pitches Tony here. We’re used to him being more affable and charming, which makes his less savory characteristics in that first movie a lot more palatable. Here, while still giving a fantastic performance, the actor seems to be zeroing in on those less heroic, darker aspects of the character which make him, well, “insufferable” might be too strong a word, but certainly not as likeable.
Still, this is essentially the Tony that the actor brought to the screen in Iron Man – much of this dialogue made its way into the movie, too. For those of us who haven’t seen the film in a while, it’s jarring to see such an immature Stark after watching him at his peak in Avengers: Infinity War. In the recent team-up event, Tony showed himself to be a true hero, never giving up and doing all he could to save the universe from Thanos. Sure, he failed, but he tried really hard.
That’s a far cry from the playboy being accused of war profiteering in this screen test and a great testament to how much the character has developed over the years, and how Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Iron Man has changed over time, too.