There are two ways an actor can go when they accept the job of playing a superhero and an eager press starts talking to them about the role. They can pull an Affleck and stake their claim as big fans of the comic, or they can head down the Maguire route and admit that they knew the character, but hadn’t exactly collected their adventures religiously.
It looks like Robert Downey Jr’s opting for the former, as he’s talked with comingsoon.net about the role of Tony Stark in Iron Man… "I went after it like a greyhound after a rabbit. I loved Marvel and Iron Man to me is the goods. To tell you the God's honest truth, I'd thrown them all away for Sgt Rock, because I really grew up on Hogan's Heroes. I'm still addicted to the History Channel and the Military Channel is my thing, but Tony's the best because I could never be Sgt Rock. He's a little bigger and more butch and has a cigar, I don't see it.”
He also seems to be planning for the future: “Tony's a perfect fit for me, and if I was ever going to do this type of thing, I thought, you know, like early 40s. Great, because when you hang up your 'macho hat' and start directing or doing other stuff, it's not an embarrassment to be doing this in your late 40s still if we wind up doing three of them."
Finally, he acknowledges that the technical challenges of the part will require some tricky shooting, but it sounds like he’s well up for the effects side of the job: "The suit for Iron Man is so complex and does so much stuff that except for once or twice or from the chest up, I'm not required to do all that much. What I will do is a lot of motion capture so that the movement isn't just some random stunt guy. A lot of time I look at CGI and I'm, like, 'what's the reference for this? This looks like a cartoon reference not a person." So I said I want to do all the motion capture work, which is like eight months after finishing shooting, but I will do as much of it as I can."
While he was pressed to reveal other casting choices that are apparently about to break, the canny star stayed quiet, but revealed that we’ll know the identity of Stark’s secretary and one other role shortly. The big tease.
Iron Man strikes cinemas in May 2008.