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Ex-Marvel boss says he was called ‘crazy’ for casting 'drug addict' Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man
Featured Image Credit: Stewart Cook/Online USA/ Marvel

Ex-Marvel boss says he was called ‘crazy’ for casting 'drug addict' Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man

Ex-Marvel boss David Maisel was dubbed as 'crazy' for casting Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man.

The actors that are chosen for the juggernaut task of heading up a Marvel character are always questioned, with fans often picking out other names they'd rather see.

From Thanos' snap to Robert Downey Jr. being handed the pivotal role in Iron Man, everyone has their opinion on how the Marvel franchise should be run.

While Marvel boss Kevin Feige may be calling the shots nowadays, there is in fact a different name we have to thank for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That name is David Maisel, who taught all to walk before Feige taught them to run.

Who created the whole MCU idea all film geeks love today? Yep, that was all Maisel's idea.

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man was seen as a 'crazy' idea.

But perhaps his most daring move was betting it all on Robert Downey Jr. for the role of Iron Man.

Fans will recognise Downey Jr. as the charismatic man behind Marvel's Iron Man, but a few decades ago he was a drug-addled celebrity with a bad reputation and a rap sheet as long as Iron Man's flight range.

Seriously, prior to joining the Marvel, Downey had battled with substance addiction and even ended serving 180 days in jail for failing to attend a court-ordered drug test.

In a wide-ranging interview, the godfather of the Marvel Cinematic Universe revealed the film studio thought he was off his rocker to bet big on Downey Jr.

"My board thought I was crazy to put the future of the company in the hands of an addict,” Maisel told Variety.

"I helped them understand how great he was for the role. We all had confidence that he was clean and would stay clean."

It was the guiding hand of Maisel who would later arrange the massive $4 billion sale of Marvel to Disney in 2009.

He resigned after the deal for Disney to acquire Marvel went through and made room for Kevin Feige, the man we all mistakenly thank for the Cinematic Universe's raging success.

Feige and the Marvel name have massively outshone Maisel's initial contributions to the franchise.

Feige replacing him in the eyes of fans as the Marvel King was sort of 'like a Thanos snap', Maisel revealed.

David Maisel called the shots at Marvel.
Karwai Tang/WireImage

"Most people right now think Kevin started the studio. They don’t know me at all," he said.

But the beginnings of the Marvel Cinematic Universe hark back further than the 2009 Disney acquisition.

It was 2003 when Maisel had the bright idea that became what we now know as the Cinematic Universe.

"I thought, ‘Hey, if I can get a movie I can believe in, and every movie after that one is a sequel or a quasi-sequel — the same characters show up — then it can go on forever,'" he said.

"Because it’s not 30 new movies. It’s one movie and 29 sequels. What we call a 'universe.'”

The then-Endeavor agent pitched his idea, revealing 'the board had really no choice but to approve me making the new Marvel Studios'.

And the rest is well and truly history.

Topics: Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Film and TV, Robert Downey Jr, Iron Man