Robert Downey Jr. reveals, if he hadn’t been Marvel’s Iron Man in ten MCU films, he would have also liked to play Hawkeye in The Avengers. The actor helped launch the multi-movie franchise by starring in 2008’s Iron Man, which set the tone for future Marvel films and profoundly influenced the shape of the MCU. In 2019, Downey exited the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Avengers: Endgame, which saw Tony Stark sacrifice himself to stop Thanos once and for all.

Downey wasn’t alone when he left the billion-dollar franchise, Captain America star Chris Evans also hung up his cowl at the end of the fourth Avengers film. Unlike Downey, Evan’s Steve Rogers survives the final battle and chooses to live out the rest of his days in the past with his one true love. “We had to get off. We opted to, and knew it was part of the job to get off the bus while it rolled on to other destinations,” Downey said of their exit. “There is something very sobering about it. I’m glad he and I will be there to welcome others as they retire their jerseys.”

The Iron Man actor was asked which other superheroes he would have liked to play if he didn’t land the Tony Stark role during an interview with BBC Radio 1 to promote his new film, Dolittle. “I can’t think of any red-blooded American boy that didn’t imagine themselves as Spider-Man growing up,” he begins. “However, looking back on it now — also because I’m just such a Jeremy Renner fan, and he made it so cool, particularly when he turns into Ronin [in Endgame] — I would say Hawkeye would be my go-to.”

It’s pretty hard to imagine anyone other than Robert Downey Jr. in the role of Tony Stark. Putting aside the fact that he played the character for over a decade, his real-life personality is similar to the way Stark has been written in Marvel comics over the years. Downey was such a natural fit for the character that most of his dialogue in Iron Man was improvised. However, there was an early period in the beginning days of the MCU when Tom Cruise almost became Iron Man, and if that had been the case, perhaps the role of Hawkeye could have gone to Downey instead of Jeremy Renner.

Hawkeye didn’t even enter the MCU until briefly appearing in Thor, which came out in 2011 after Iron Man 2 had already hit theaters. If Tom Cruise had starred in the first Iron Man movie, who knows if it would have resonated with comic fans and casual moviegoers the same way Downey’s performance did. Without the instant success of Iron Man, the rest of the MCU may have never materialized, so maybe it’s for the best that Robert Downey Jr. played Tony Stark, paving the way for Renner to be cast as Hawkeye. After all, Renner was recently announced to be reprising the role for a Disney+ TV series following the further adventures of Clint Barton, and who knows if Downey would have been as willing to take Hawkeye to the small screen.

More: Iron Man Could Return In The MCU, Says Robert Downey Jr.

Source: BBC Radio 1 via YouTube

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