Going back to 2008, Robert Downey Jr. has been the face of the Marvel Studios franchise. It was his performance as Tony Stark in Jon Favreau's Iron Man that lit the powder keg that wound up becoming the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he has been a key player and figure ever since. As important as both Downey Jr. and Iron Man have been to the success of Marvel, however, the actor will now admit that it's actually not one of his movies that represents the best that the company can produce. Instead, that distinction belongs to the sci-fi opera that landed in theaters earlier this month: James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy.
Downey Jr. recently arrived in Toronto, Canada in advance of the Toronto International Film Festival - where his new movie, The Judge, will debut - and while speaking with the Toronto Sun the star revealed that he now thinks that Guardians of the Galaxy represents what is really great about the work being done at Marvel. Said the actor,
"[Guardians of the] Galaxy in some ways is the best Marvel movie ever - and it’s odd for someone with, on occasion, an ego the size of mine to actually say that!"
Of course, the actor added that his own contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe have had a part in Guardians of the Galaxy's success (the sci-fi action film recently becoming the domestic box office king of summer 2014). The studio spent years relying on some of the more well-known characters from the history of Marvel Comics to carry them to box office success, but now their silver screen brand is strong enough that even relative unknowns like Guardians of the Galaxy can find huge blockbuster success. Comparing the strategy to the brothers Peyton and Eli Manning in the NFL, Downey Jr. said,
"It’s like you have a great quarterback, and his brother plays for another team, and then you say: ‘Look, this is their second cousin and we think he has a great arm and he should start.’ And then he goes and wins the Super Bowl!"
While Guardians of the Galaxy is expected to continue adding to its box office total both domestically and abroad in the coming weeks, it's already been doing spectacular business so far. With a take of $255 million so far here in the U.S., it is the sixth biggest domestic earner that Marvel Studios has made, and it's only about $4 million away from Captain America: The Winter Soldier (which was released earlier this year to equally high praise). The only question that remains is, do you think Robert Downey Jr. is right? Is Guardians of the Galaxy the best Marvel movie so far?