Robert Downey Jr. Almost Played a Villain in Christopher Nolan's Batman Trilogy

Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame
Credit: Marvel Studios

Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame
Credit: Marvel Studios

Robert Downey Jr. experienced a huge career comeback when he played Tony Stark in the MCU's first film Iron Man. Since then, he has become a major A-list movie star and the face of the franchise during his tenure in the role.

Now, the actor is poised to potentially nab his first Oscar win for his acclaimed performance as Lewis Strauss in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer, which has been dominating the awards season.

At this point, it's hard to see the actor step on another comic book role other than Tony Stark considering how iconic he was in playing the character and most audience would associate him with the hero.

However, as it turns out, he was in contention to play a villain in another major comic book movie franchise.

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Robert Downey Jr. Reveals He Almost Played Scarecrow in Batman Begins

Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow in Batman Begins
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Credit: Warner Bros.

In a recent Q&A session on a screening of Oppenheimer (via, Robert Downey Jr. revealed that he met with Nolan to potentially play the Scarecrow in Batman Begins years before he starred in the MCU.

"I'm pretty sure I heard about [this role] and I was like, 'I'm Scarecrow,' and then I remember meeting [Nolan] for tea and I was like, 'He doesn't seem like he's really in on this interview,'" he said.

"And he was polite and all that. But you can tell when someone is kind of like, 'It's not going to go anywhere.'"

As we all know, Downey's Oppenheimer co-star Cillian Murphy ended up playing the villain in the first Batman movie under Nolan.

Fortunately, many years later, the actor was finally able to work with Nolan and is now the frontrunner to win Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars thanks to their collaboration.

Obviously, he was also able to step into the comic book world through his now-iconic role of Tony Stark which once again turned him into a household name.

Fans would argue that everything worked out in the end since Downey might not have ended up becoming Tony Stark if he played the villain and Murphy was the perfect choice for the role and it led to the now-frequent collaboration between him and Nolan.

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