By 2008, Marvel was already in the initiative at the superhero box office with the “Blade”, “Spider-Man”, and “X-Men” franchises, followed by modest and so-so success with Ben Affleck as “Daredevil”, Jennifer Garner as “Elektra”, Ang Lee’s brooding “Hulk”, and back-to-back “Fantastic Four” films with future Captain America Chris Evans as Johnny Storm/Human Torch.
Then came Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man.
Created in 1963, the character is definitely the founding cornerstone for the Avengers Initiative: a billionaire-playboy-genius-philanthropist who made his fortune manufacturing and making weapons. Now he becomes a weapon himself with a suit of armor that is dedicated to protecting the world from terrorism and corruption.
“Iron Man” was tailor-made for RDJ, who shares similar traits with his character. Both had sordid pasts in terms of partying and drinking, sobered up and got clean, conquered their inner demons, found love and happiness, and came out the other side a hero … whether they wanna admit it or not. Like the suit, Robert Downey, Jr. and Iron Man are one and the same.: building and fighting their way onto both Hollywood’s A-List and the A-List of superheroes. Unlike the Captain America trilogy, “Iron Man 2”and “Iron Man 3” didn’t quite live up to the standards of their predecessor in terms of story. Still, the highlight of Iron Man 2 was the stunning debut of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow opposite RDJ’s “lone gunslinger” Stark, who was described as “volatile, self-obsessed, doesn’t play well with others”.
“Iron Man” is more than the origin story of an armored Avenger. It is the redemption and resurrection of actor Robert Downey, Jr.
Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” is in theaters now.