Paul Bettany Says Iron Man’s Jon Favreau Threw Funny Shade At Him When Pitching The MCU’s First Film

Paul Bettany Says Iron Man’s Jon Favreau Threw Funny Shade At Him When Pitching The MCU’s First Film

It's hard to believe that it has been nearly three years since WandaVision finished its run as the debut Marvel series on Disney+. This has left the future of one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most tragic characters, Vision, in limbo, though the rumored Vision series is apparently moving forward. What's even more unbelievable is that it has been over fifteen years since the actor behind the android joined the newly created MCU as Tony Stark's AI assistant, J.A.R.V.I.S. Recently, Paul Bettany opened up about the humorous shade that Iron Man helmer Jon Favreau made when pitching the film to him.

During a discussion at MegaCon Orlando (via Collider), Paul Bettany shared insights into Jon Favreau's approach to offering him the role of the advanced A.I. system. The Manhunt veteran highlighted the humorous manner in which the Jungle Book director presented the opportunity, which captures the playful and spirited atmosphere Favreau introduced to the MCU. Paul Bettany noted that the filmmaker was attracted to him for what he jokingly referred to as his absence of personality. As the actor tells it:

Jon Favreau, who played my agent in a movie called Wimbledon, he said, ‘Look, I’m directing this thing called Iron Man, and I need somebody who has no personality at all, and I immediately thought of you.’ How do you say no to that?

I mean, if we're to be honest, the Zathura director wasn't wrong when it came to that choice, as the British actor more than excelled in the role. However, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he definitely has a personality.

If you have watched the Marvel movies in chronological order, then you know there was no way of knowing just how much of a significant role Paul Bettany would play in the MCU, considering how his tenure began. He may have started just by lending his voice to Tony Stark's virtual assistant, but he became an essential part of the storyline that the House of Ideas used to create its universe. The Legion star reflected on his experience and shared more about how his role evolved from a mere voiceover to a critical character in the Avengers' lineup. He continued:

So I was doing it, and it was a lot of fun, and I turn up at the end and solve everybody’s problem – solve what they hadn’t been able to make clear [on] camera; I could just say, ‘The bad guys are coming, and they’re right behind you!’ or whatever... I think I made everybody laugh, and they went, ‘Oh, it’d be nice to have him on set.’ That's how I think it happened. I think they just thought I'd be fun to hang out with.

The rest, as they say, is history. Moving from the voice recording booth to the physical demands of being on set marked a significant shift for the actor. Transitioning to the role of Vision meant adapting from mere voice work to wearing an elaborate costume. The actor humorously noted the difficulty of getting into his costume, playfully stating that his dresser should receive a raise for their hard work. He detailed the demanding process of wearing the costume as, through laughter, he elaborated: 

The process is arduous. I have a radiator, that’s underneath [the costume] that just pumps cold water that I have to carry around in the bag. A little like being inside a gin and tonic.

If you have been keeping up with the state of superhero movies, you may have noticed that Marvel has faced some challenges since Avengers: Endgame's release. Due to the decreasing box office numbers, many planned upcoming Marvel movies and upcoming Marvel TV shows have either been postponed or canceled as the studio adjusts their release schedule. All that aside though, there are still plenty of fans who'd love to see the A Knight's Tale alum reprise the role of the amiable android in the MCU. And that's not just due to Jon Favreau's astute (and funny) way of casting him but also due to the actor's pitch-perfect performance.

As Kevin Feige and crew reprioritize their release schedule, it will be interesting to see how and when Paul Bettany’s Vision will make his onscreen return. In the meantime, all of Bettany's appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe can be streamed with a Disney+ subscription.