A new report reveals that Robert Downey Jr. played a big role in Chris Evans ultimately accepting the part as Steve Rogers/Captain America in the MCU.
Robert Downey Jr. played a part in Chris Evans’ casting as Captain America in the MCU. The two actors had been great co-stars since they first shared the screen in 2012’s The Avengers. Downey Jr. and Evans both ended their respective franchise arcs at the same time in Joe and Anthony Russo’s Avengers: Endgame in 2019, which also marked the end of Marvel’s Infinity Saga.
Much has been said about Downey’s casting as Iron Man in the MCU. Understandably, studio executives were skeptical about hiring him to kick off Marvel Studios and its planned franchise. Fortunately, Iron Man director Jon Favreau relentlessly campaigned for him to be cast as Tony Stark. Once the film was released, it was immediately clear that he was meant to play the superhero. After the huge success of the first Iron Man film, Downey became a major player in the MCU, and his part went beyond his role on the big screen. Apparently, he was also instrumental in bringing in the person who is arguably his best on-screen partner in the Marvel franchise.
As revealed in The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (via CBR), producers Kevin Feige and Stephen Broussard were ready to cast Sebastian Stan as Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger. However, producer Joel Silver was adamant that Evans was right for the job and was quite vocal about that. Apparently, Silver had already called the actor at that point. Downey had reached out to Evans regarding the part, too, and the ruse ultimately worked. Downey was the final push that convinced Evans to audition for Captain America. According to Evans, the multi-film deal scared him, but he eventually got over it after some convincing. Read his comments below:
“It’s a big commitment to do these Marvel movies. Initially, the offer was nine pictures, then it went to six. But six movies can last a really long time. My concern was the fact that this will be a life-changing experience and the following commitment would be more than I could handle. But that did not turn out to be the case. It was the best decision I ever made.”
It’s no secret that Marvel Studios had to court Evans multiple times before he signed on for Captain America: The First Avenger. While they were closing in on choosing Stan, they also saw other actors for the role, such as John Krasinski, Daredevil season 3 actor Wilson Bethel, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star Wyatt Russell. Aside from the personal calls from Silver and Downey, Evans’ mom also motivated her son to take on Captain America, citing how persistent Marvel Studios was in recruiting him. Ultimately, one can’t fault the actor for turning down the role of Steve Rogers considering his less than ideal experience playing Johnny Storm in Fox’s Fantastic Four films in the mid-2000s.
Fortunately, things worked out for the best. Evans has been very open about how much he enjoyed his time in the MCU despite being reluctant at first. Captain America was an important part of what made the franchise successful, and it’s largely in part to the way Evans portrayed the iconic character. On top of that, his chemistry and friendship with Downey just made their work as Avengers co-leaders on the big screen so much easier.
More: Doctor Strange In Spider-Man: No Way Home Fixes MCU’s Iron Man Mistake
Source: The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (via CBR)
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