Chris Evans Explains Why Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man Is His Most Desirable MCU Role

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Chris Evans, Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man

Marvel Studios is back in the swing of releasing content on a regular basis, which appears to be the case for the rest of 2021 after recent scheduling announcements. Even with the franchise set to bring en new entries into the MCU by the end of the year, none of it would be possible without the early MCU pioneers that built the series from the ground up.

Specifically, fans look at somebody like Chris Evans, who took on the role of Captain America and made appearances in ten of the MCU's first 23 movies before seemingly retiring from the shield for good. This legacy hero helped lay the foundation for where the franchise currently is with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which will see a power struggle for that shield between Sam Wilson, the government, and possibly other unknown forces.

Evans made for one of the MCU's best casting decisions to date, of which Marvel Studios has built an impeccable reputation. However, Evans recently got fans thinking about how things may have been if he had taken on a different Marvel personality.


Tony Stark Steve Rogers Avengers Endgame

In an interview on the ACE Entertainment YouTube channel, MCU icon Chris Evans joined his brother, Scott, and host Angélique Roché who asked Chris which actor he would switch roles with in the MCU if given the chance. Evans revealed that he would enjoy taking on the Iron Man role, which was played by Robert Downey, Jr. from 2008 to 2019.

While joking that "the paychecks would be nice," Evans noted that the genius/billionaire/playboy/philanthropist is "the engine" and "the life" of the franchise as a whole. In the end, he conceded that there's nothing "anyone on this planet could do that would somehow improve upon what Downey’s done," confirming that Downey's legacy as Iron Man is cemented:

"You know, I’ll say Downey, Iron Man. The paychecks would be nice [laughs]. But just the role is, he is the engine, he’s the life. But I suppose that’s kind of signing up for failure. I don’t think there’s anything anyone on this planet could do that would somehow improve upon what Downey’s done. I don’t consider that to be a role that’s gonna be like a James Bond or a Superman or Batman that somehow other people get a bite of the apple. He’s Iron Man, the end."


While this answer certainly gets fans' brains going at high-speed imagining Evans as Tony Stark, the Captain America star clearly understands the legacy that Robert Downey, Jr. built in his 11 years of MCU service.

The two actors co-starred in each movie in the Avengers quadrilogy and went toe-to-toe against each other in 2016's Captain America: Civil War. Combining to lead the way for the MCU both in-universe and off-camera, it seems only fitting that Evans would take on a role so different, yet so similar, if he was given the chance to do things over again.

It also speaks to the actors' relationship off-screen considering that Robert Downey, Jr. helped push Chris Evans to take the role of Steve Rogers more than a decade ago. Now that both Downey and Evans' time with Marvel Studios has most likely come to an end, it almost makes their bond in real life that much more meaningful going forward.

For now, the Captain America legacy directly continues in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+. The Iron Man story will branch off next year with Don Cheadle's Armor Wars and Dominique Thorne's Ironheart, both of which will debut on the streaming service as well.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.