The casting of Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man is pretty much pitch-perfect, so much so that even filmmaker Christopher Nolan recently acknowledged it as “one of the greatest casting decisions in the history of movies.”
The film went on to major success, kickstarting the Marvel Cinematic Universe and delivering two direct sequels of its own. The decision to cast Downey Jr. was seen as a risk at the time, so other people auditioned for the role.
One of those was Timothy Olyphant who was coming off the success of HBO’s “Deadwood” and would soon pop up as the villain of “Live Free or Die Hard”. Around that period was when “Iron Man” was casting.
In a recent episode of The Playlist’s Bingeworthy podcast, Olyphant spoke about that audition for the Tony Stark role and said he has no hard feelings about what happened and is actually quite happy he got to work with director Jon Favreau years later on “The Mandalorian”:
“I think part of that appeal was those conversations that I had with [Jon] Favreau – I just have a tremendous amount of respect for him and I just like the guy. He’s just a good dude. So, if you’re going to go down that road, you’re not going to find anyone better to go down it with, so I have fond memories of that experience, you know?
I try to see things simply for what they are and not what they could be and any conversations I had with Jon about that job and about that process, I remember it very fondly. It was an enjoyable process…And, well, he’s the one who hired me for [‘The Mandalorian’], so he doesn’t owe me anything.”
Olyphant appeared in both “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett” as Cobb Vanth, a lawman in Freetown on Tatooine. We last saw him being healed in a bacta tank, suggesting his character will return.
When is not clear, but the actor was asked if he’ll show up for Dave Filoni’s reported crossover style film of all his live-action “Star Wars” series. He evaded, but added he’d be very happy to take the gig if offered:
“If I had [talks with Filoni], I wouldn’t tell you. Honestly, I can tell you that I’ve been very, very lucky with those guys. I’ve only done two episodes and to have only done those two episodes and feel like you’re part of a world and they created such a memorable character.
I mean, you know, I’m getting away with something here. I did two episodes and I’ve got like four toys out there. It’s ridiculous, and I know it because all of a sudden there’s people at the airport with toys. That’s new. But, it was a ball working on those things and those guys know if they call me I’d show up. I don’t care if it’s a big giant thing or just to show up for an afternoon. It’s a fun gig.”
Olyphant can currently be seen in FX’s “Justified: City Primeval” which sees the return of another iconic character of his, Raylan Givens.