After the worldwide success of Avengers: Endgame it’s important to remember how we got here. How did the Marvel Cinematic Universe become the global success it is today and how did it all begin?
Well if you ask most Marvel fans they would more than likely say one man’s name: Robert Downey Jr. It’s understandable, RDJ brought the character of Tony Stark to life and became the frontman for the entire MCU.
At the end of the day, it’s the success of the first Iron Man movie which kickstarted the franchise into what it is today. However, there seems to be one man’s name that gets far too often looked over and that’s Jon Favreau. The man who is TRULY responsible for making the MCU what it is today.
Who is Jon Favreau?
Jon Favreau plays the character of Happy Hogan in the Iron Man and Spider-Man movies but many people are still unaware that he also directed the first and second Iron Man movies.
Favreau took on the responsibility of directing the first MCU movie at a time in which people believed Super-hero movies were done. There was a huge weight on Favreau’s shoulders to make this movie a success in an attempt to kick start a brand new super-hero movie franchise.
If the first Iron Man movie had flopped then the MCU would have never become the success it is today.
Casting Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man:
Jon Favreau’s biggest challenge however was his attempt to cast Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark.
For context: in the 1990’s RDJ was arrested multiple times for alcohol and drug abuse and suffered from addiction. Robert finally pulled himself together and started on his long road of personal redemption.
Marvel Studios were totally against Robert Downey Jr being cast as Tony Stark, despite Favreau being certain he was the right man for the job. Favreau saw the link between RDJ’s redemption arc and Tony Starks in the movie and knew that he was the perfect and only choice.
Marvel Studio’s told Favreau he could cast anyone he wants but not RDJ. They were worried about the risk, how his history would define him and if parents would want to take their children to see RDJ on the big screen.
After repeatedly being told no Favreau refused to give up. He persuaded the producers to see RDJ in screen tests to see if he was worth taking a risk. After the successful screen tests, Robert Downey Jr was eventually cast as Tony Stark and Iron Man went on to be a huge success.
Grossing approximately 538 million dollars worldwide while also receiving very positive reviews across the board.
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The Real Godfather of the MCU
Jon Favreau’s determination and creative eye is what got RDJ cast as Tony Stark and what truly kickstarted the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, making it into the multi-billion industry it is today.
If it wasn’t for Favreau putting everything on the line, going against a big studio and fighting for what he believed in then things would be so much different to what they are today. People always say Robert Downey Jr is the ‘godfather of the MCU’ and very often describe him as the man who made the MCU what it is today.
While Robert Downey Jr truly is (and always will be) the heart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the real genius and the real ‘godfather’ of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will always be Jon Favreau.