Robert Downey Jr.’s original take on Tony Stark was less charming than the final version


Test footage from the first Iron Man movie reveals that Robert Downey Jr. originally planned on taking the character in a much more serious, less charming direction.

Tony Stark has come a long way in the MCU. Watching his character growth over the years has been exciting and rewarding, and we hope good things for him in the future. (Looking at you, Avengers 4!)

But as far as Tony has come from being the irresponsible, erratic, playboy he was in the first Iron Man movie, screen test footage shows that Tony Stark could have been played much differently.

The footage (making its rounds on the internet again thanks to The Hollywood Reporter) features Robert Downey Jr’s. first attempt at playing Tony. It shows an Iron Man who is darker and a bit slimier than the version Downey ends up going with in the film. This version of Tony Stark comes off as more serious and somewhat insufferable, and not in that charming, sarcastic way that Tony can sometimes be.

You can see the footage here:

This screen test shows part of the start of the movie where Tony is hitting on a reporter from Vanity Fair. In the film version, Tony is sassy and confident. While you can debate how likable he is in that version, there is no denying he has a lot more charm. In this screen test, he comes off much ruder and aggressive. The charm, that has become so characteristic of Downey’s Iron Man, is missing.

We are glad that Downey ended up going a different route and that we get the version of Tony Stark that we know and love. While Tony Stark isn’t perfect, the approach he’s has taken with the character is rather spot-on, and we have loved seeing Tony mature and grow over the years.

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What did you think of this early version of Tony Stark? It’s strange to think how the MCU might be different if they hadn’t changed it up, and we are pretty sure they went in the right direction by making Tony more fun and sassy. We can’t get enough of those classic Tony Stark quips and how Robert Downey Jr. delivers those lines.