Countless big franchise roles have these myths and rumors behind them. Filmmaking is a fast-paced process, and usually, when they get around to the casting process, the film is a freight train moving at 50 miles per hour, and more often than not, due to scheduling or other reasons, the studio doesn’t often get their No. 1 choice.
Such was rumored to be the case with Iron Man. Director Jon Favreau famously stood up for the then-unbankable (and un-insurable) Robert Downey Jr., but rumor had it that Tom Cruise nearly took on the role of Tony Stark. Speaking with ComicBook.com, Cruise clarified how close he got to snatching the role from Downey.
“Not close. Not close and I love Robert Downey Jr. I can’t imagine anyone else in that role and I think it’s perfect for him.”
I think pretty much everyone out there can agree that Downey Jr. taking on the role was one of the best pieces of casting of its decade, and it’s since gone on to be profitable for both him and Marvel Studios.
But that wasn’t all. We’re a solid 10 years into the Golden Age of superheroes, and one of Hollywood’s last action stars has yet to play one of them. Has it been by design, or is there still a chance he’ll take on a role?
“I look at a movie and I don’t rule anything out. It’s, ‘What’s the story? Does it interest me? Do I feel this is where the audience would like to see me in? What can I learn?’ And ‘What can I contribute?’ That’s how I choose my movies.”
It seems possible, but admittedly, Tom Cruise seems to be a very hands-on talent, and if he can’t contribute more than just his acting chops, I’m not sure the stars will ever align for him to actually take on a role like this. But you never know! Stranger things have happened.
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