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Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

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Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Old 03-21-17, 09:51 PM
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Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Me and my friend were talking about this. How his Tony Stark/Iron Man seems to be the center of the universe. He is like the glue and while he kicked ass in Civil War, I'm kinda getting tired of his schtick to be honest. I loved IM and especially RDJ (I mean I like him in most things) but the sequels didn't do as much for me. I'm kinda torn

But, would it been as popular without Robert Downey Jr's portrayal of that character?
Old 03-21-17, 09:57 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Without RDJ IM would have been like Incredible Hulk, a decent movie but not something to build a universe around. That role would have gone to Chris Evans and Captain America.
Old 03-21-17, 09:57 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

The better question: would RDJ be as popular without the MCU?
Old 03-21-17, 10:04 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Originally Posted by Groucho
The better question: would RDJ be as popular without the MCU?
Exactly. And the answer is nope. But he's the perfect combination of his personal life mixed in with the Tony Stark persona. But a dose of the Tony Stark character goes a long way, and we've seen him in about 7-8 MCU movies over the past decade. But I think a few good actors could have stepped into the role and we still would have still seen a very successful line of MCU movies.

Okay, now it's time for someone to start crapping on the DC universe as a comparison.
Old 03-21-17, 10:10 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

If IM hadn't been a big hit there would be no MCU. That film was Marvel's big "going it alone" moment. RDJ had a lot to do with that film hitting. Perfect casting.

Everyone was forecasting IM wouldn't work because he was an obscure character. IM proved what you could do with a second tier character. The rest is history.

And I will crap on DC for a moment. They took a stab at Green Lantern and failed miserably. That failure led to people thinking second tier characters wouldn't work. IM destroyed that thinking.

Last edited by Mabuse; 03-21-17 at 10:15 PM.
Old 03-21-17, 10:10 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Would the DC cinematic universe be anything without Batman?

But yeah, I don't remember the timeline exactly but unless they were waiting for the returns on Iron Man before launching the rest, no way was RDJ that essential, considering they had many other hits without his involvement.
Old 03-21-17, 10:19 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Originally Posted by Mabuse
If IM hadn't been a big hit there would be no MCU. That film was Marvel's big "going it alone" moment. RDJ had a lot to do with that film hitting. Perfect casting.

Everyone was forecasting IM wouldn't work because he was an obscure character. IM proved what you could do with a second tier character. The rest is history.
I agree. It's pretty crazy to think how comic book movies would have fared if IM was a flop. It pretty much changed the entire landscape of movies over the last decade.

We're talking billions of dollars in profits all thanks to RDJ and Jon Favreau. Who would have guessed that?!
Old 03-21-17, 10:19 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Originally Posted by fujishig
Would the DC cinematic universe be anything without Batman?

But yeah, I don't remember the timeline exactly but unless they were waiting for the returns on Iron Man before launching the rest, no way was RDJ that essential, considering they had many other hits without his involvement.
They had hits with Sony, Universal, and Fox carrying the burden and using their "first tier" characters. IM was when they went out alone, confident that their less well known properties could succeed.
Old 03-21-17, 10:29 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Originally Posted by Mabuse
And I will crap on DC for a moment. They took a stab at Green Lantern and failed miserably. That failure led to people thinking second tier characters wouldn't work. IM destroyed that thinking.
I don't get the logic in this statement, since Iron Man came out first in 2008. Green Lantern was in 2011.
Old 03-21-17, 10:38 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

I have no idea what the fuck you're on about.
Old 03-22-17, 12:26 AM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Originally Posted by Mabuse
If IM hadn't been a big hit there would be no MCU. That film was Marvel's big "going it alone" moment. RDJ had a lot to do with that film hitting. Perfect casting.

Everyone was forecasting IM wouldn't work because he was an obscure character. IM proved what you could do with a second tier character. The rest is history.

And I will crap on DC for a moment. They took a stab at Green Lantern and failed miserably. That failure led to people thinking second tier characters wouldn't work. IM destroyed that thinking.
Originally Posted by fumanstan
I don't get the logic in this statement, since Iron Man came out first in 2008. Green Lantern was in 2011.
Precisely. Green Lantern was WB's first attempt to do what Marvel was doing (and failing miserably because nobody in charge truly got what made Marvel's films work, which they still don't). Green Lantern was supposed to be the start of the DC Cinematic Universe.
Old 03-22-17, 09:08 AM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Originally Posted by Mabuse
If IM hadn't been a big hit there would be no MCU. That film was Marvel's big "going it alone" moment. RDJ had a lot to do with that film hitting. Perfect casting.

Everyone was forecasting IM wouldn't work because he was an obscure character. IM proved what you could do with a second tier character. The rest is history.
That's a good reason to vote "no"...but you voted "yes."
Old 03-22-17, 09:29 AM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Originally Posted by TomOpus
That's a good reason to vote "no"...but you voted "yes."
Well then change my vote.
Old 03-22-17, 09:40 AM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
I agree. It's pretty crazy to think how comic book movies would have fared if IM was a flop. It pretty much changed the entire landscape of movies over the last decade.

We're talking billions of dollars in profits all thanks to RDJ and Jon Favreau. Who would have guessed that?!

It sounds like hyperbole, but I don't think it is at all. I haven't searched, but I would think there's some long-form essays/articles about how important of a role this film played in where blockbuster / superhero cinema headed since then.

To answer the OP's question, I'm not sure that "the MCU" would even be a real thing today if it wasn't for the success of Iron Man, which is arguably directly a result of Robert Downey Jr.'s involvement.
Old 03-22-17, 10:44 AM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Originally Posted by Mabuse
Well then change my vote.
Okay, it's been changed.

edit: damn, got changed back
Old 03-22-17, 11:22 AM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

It's hard to say. It really would depend on who they cast in his place and how it worked out. Obviously RDJ has been great, but as much as it seems that way now, I'm not na´ve enough to believe that RDJ is the ONLY person who could have possibly played Tony Stark and been successful.

Also, RDJ really owes as much to the MCU as the MCU owes to him, because his career was going nowhere fast before Iron Man. He wasn't really a box office draw of any kind. It was just once of those cosmic synergy things that worked out great for both parties.

EDIT: The success of RDJ's casting was a huge boon to Marvel, but the core reason why the MCU works, and the DCCU really hasn't thus far, is that the people behind the MCU love the characters and understand what makes them work. I still go back to this quote from Anne Thompson's review of Guardians of the Galaxy, which I think accurately sums up the dichotomy:

The real question is what Marvel's got that the Hollywood studios don't--presumably a deep understanding of the Marvel world and a desire to share it with an audience. They're saying, "we love and believe in this and know you will too." As opposed to: "eat this pablum that we made sweet and tasty so you'll like it."

Last edited by Obi-Wanma; 03-22-17 at 11:35 AM.
Old 03-22-17, 11:29 AM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Originally Posted by Obi-Wan Jabroni
It's hard to say. It really would depend on who they cast in his place and how it worked out. Obviously RDJ has been great, but as much as it seems that way now, I'm not na´ve enough to believe that RDJ is the ONLY person who could have possibly played Tony Stark.

Also, RDJ really owes as much to the MCU as the MCU owes to him, because his career was going nowhere fast before Iron Man. He wasn't really a box office draw of any kind. It was just once of those cosmic synergy things that worked out great for both parties.
Agree with the second statement. RDJ owes as much to the MCU as the MCU owes to him. But I really doubt there is too many actors that could have hit that performance like he did. I could even picture other people playing wolverine besides Jackman but Iron Man not so sure..
Old 03-22-17, 11:51 AM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

It's hard to really say. If a big name charismatic actor would have been cast as Tony it still might have worked. Obviously Downey Jr. has owned the role and it's hard at this point to picture anyone else as the character but at the time the first film came out Iron Man wasn't the most well known character.
Old 03-22-17, 12:13 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

There is no way to tell.
Old 03-22-17, 12:53 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

RDJ was a fantastic casting choice, and obviously the major draw to what the franchise would turn into. I'm sure there would have been someone else who could have pulled it off, but it's hard to imagine who at this point. I'm just as surprised that Favreau was the director of it. He didn't have much of a history in directing that would indicate he could do such a good job.
Old 03-22-17, 01:14 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

Originally Posted by Mike86
It's hard to really say. If a big name charismatic actor would have been cast as Tony it still might have worked. Obviously Downey Jr. has owned the role and it's hard at this point to picture anyone else as the character but at the time the first film came out Iron Man wasn't the most well known character.
Completely agree with this. It is very difficult for me to see where the Tony Stark character ends and RDJ starts. He really has made the role his own, and is synonymous with the character at this point. I am sure someone else could have done the job, who that is though I do not know. It is very hard for me at this point to think of anyone else in that role. As for starting the MCU, I think they would have been fine with Captain America starting it, had IM not been around or as big a hit as it was.
Old 03-22-17, 01:23 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

It will be interesting to see what they do with Iron Man over the next 10 years. With Marvel, you know they have to be thinking that far out by now with movie productions. Since he's almost 52 now, I wonder if they will replace his character with another actor or just retire Iron Man for a bit.
Old 03-22-17, 10:10 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

RDJ's Tony Stark worked because he made a rich, entitled asshole likeable. I don't think there are many actors who could pull that off. He hit the right balance of smug, snark, and quirk. He's both cocky and vulnerable. You'd hate his guts if you didn't want to hang out with him.
Old 03-22-17, 10:46 PM
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Re: Would the MCU been as popular without RDJ?

As popular? No, but I'm sure they'd have still found success. I can't imagine they'd kill off RDJ.... he'll have a much reduced role I'm sure....but he can still cameo to help lift up some films down the road.

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