USA Today has posted a first look at Robert Downey Jr. in the role of Tony Stark in the Jon Favreau-directed Iron Man movie.
The 42-year-old Downey, who’s had several stints in drug and alcohol rehab, is getting in shape to play the hard-bodied recovering-alcoholic millionaire. To prep for the role of Stark — an arms manufacturer who dons a jet-powered, missile-launching suit of armor to fight evil as Marvel superhero Iron Man — the actor lifts weights five times a week and practices martial arts.
In choosing Downey for the part, Favreau said he didn’t want to go with “a safe choice”:
“The best and worst moments of Robert’s life have been in the public eye. He had to find an inner balance to overcome obstacles that went far beyond his career. That’s Tony Stark.
Earlier this month, an image was released of the grey version of Iron Man’s suit of armor.
Iron Man is scheduled to hit theaters May 2, 2008.