Robert Downey Jr, the ‘Iron Man’ Icon, Hurt Actors’ Careers

in Entertainment, Marvel

(L-R) Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark AKA Iron Man and Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel

Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man icon, is all over the news for his arrest at Disney, and it’s unearthed a treasure mine of dirty secrets, like how he caused Tom Cruise to lose out on a role in an Oscar-winning franchise.

robert downey jr as tony stark
Credit: Marvel Studios

Robert Downey Jr., the Marvel Cinematic Universe Sensation

Disney has its own jail, and the icon of Iron Man and Avengers got the chance to visit it—when Robert Downey Jr. was arrested. The Oppenheimer (2023) star found himself in the not-so-magical jail, but it wasn’t recent.

Pirates in jail while a dog holds their key on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
Credit: Disney

How It All Happened: The Downey Jr Arrest

Iron Man in film and regular Robert Downey Jr. in real life said, “He was arrested in 1996 for possession of heroin, cocaine, and an unloaded .357-caliber Magnum, given three years of probation and required to undergo mandatory drug testing.”

It was quite some time ago, but its resurfacing cast a pall on RDJ, the star who’s worked alongside the likes of Emily Blunt, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kate Winslet.

Related: Robert Downey Jr. Arrested at Disney Following Incident

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) (left) and Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) in elevator, Iron Man 3
Credit: Marvel Studios

How Robert Downey Jr Helped Tom Cruise’s Downfall

Robert Downey Jr. caused other actors to suffer, resulting in changes to everything from Sherlock Holmes to Iron Man to Best Actor awards at Oscar ceremonies that could have been. It apparently wasn’t the only time that Robert Downey Jr. acted in the interests of himself over others. Tom Cruise attributes the loss of both the Iron Man role and, oddly enough, Spider-Man to RDJ.

Tom Holland (Spider-Man) and Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark) in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' (2017)
Credit: Marvel Studios

James Cameron, Tom Cruise, and Robert Downey Jr.

It started with the director dubbed the “king of the box office” by many. The name comes from Cameron’s success with film. He won Oscars for Titanic, Avatar, and others. Sony Pictures gave creative control of Spider-Man to James Cameron. Then it gets juicy.

James Cameron left the film due to legal issues; Tom Cruise followed suit for the same cause. According to Cruise, “Marvel Studios came to me at a certain time and, when I do something, I wanna do it right.”

Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man
Credit: Marvel Studios

Where Robert Downey Jr. Comes In

So, after much ado, actor Robert Downey Jr. got the part of Iron Man and made an incredibly successful career in Hollywood. From appearing on David Letterman to vying for the accolade of Best Supporting Actor in the Christopher Nolan epic Oppenheimer, it looked like none of the legal issues stood in the way of RDJ.

He won a BAFTA award, is known throughout Los Angeles, and emulates Tony Stark during his Marvel Studios scenes. It does appear that it caused a few others to miss out on opportunities, but in the spirit of Iron Man, “Sometimes you’ve gotta run before you can walk.”

What do you think about the Robert Downey Jr. news? Is the arrest a symptom of a more significant Iron Man problem? Share in the comments below!

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