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Why Tom Cruise Turned Down Iron Man Role Later Given To RDJ

By Mabel Judith Andrady
July 5,2022

When Iron Man was released in 2008, it not only began the series but also gave Robert Downey Jr. a chance at a more prominent career. Despite Downey’s Tony Stark’s status as one of the most adored heroes in superhero film history, Tom Cruise was almost cast in the role.

Tom Cruise’s history with the MCU dates back almost 20 years, to a time when Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios revolutionized the superhero film genre, and to a time before the Top Gun: Maverick star was reported to be portraying Supreme Iron Man in the cameo-heavy Doctor Strange 2. So, why did Tom Cruise turn down RDJ’s famous role?

Rumored Had It Tom Cruise Would Play Iron Man

Some of the most well-known actors working today, like Tom Cruise, are among those who were considered for roles in Marvel films but ultimately did not make the cut. Some of the talks about the ageless actor playing Tony Stark in the unreleased MCU were reported back in 2006.

There were rumors that Cruise was interested in portraying Iron Man as early as 2004 when Jon Favreau was brought on board to film the movie. Unfortunately, most of these stories have now been lost to the ravages of time and the ever-changing internet.

Since the picture was produced by Paramount Pictures, it made logical to include one of the studio’s greatest actors. But fate had other plans, and RDJ was cast in the part.

Tom Cruise Expressed Doubts At The Project Working At The Time

tom cruise iron man

Even though there was conjecture that Tom Cruise would be heading the Iron Man movie in 2006, the actor stated his misgivings about the idea almost a year earlier when he was questioned about the long-rumored project. On a visit to the War of the Worlds set in February 2005, Cruise was about the potential of portraying Tony Stark and whether the film would ever come to reality, to which he replied:

“[Marvel Studios] came to me at a certain point and, when I do something, I wanna do it right. If I commit to something, it has to be done in a way that I know it’s gonna be something special. And as it was lining up, it just didn’t feel to me like it was gonna work. I need to be able to make decisions and make the film as great as it can be, and it just didn’t go down that road that way.”

Cruise went on to say that he’s never done a movie for the sake of making a film and that he has to be invested in the plot in order to do so. When asked about Iron Man, he indicated development was stalled. Neither would this be Cruise’s first nor final public comment on the speculation that he will play Iron Man.

Either way, boy are we glad RDJ was offered the role. Had he not accepted it as well, MCU would’ve been so different.

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