Major MCU Villain Actor in Iron Man 2 Was Original Choice for Tony Stark, Not Robert Downey Jr

Sam Rockwell looks back in his MCU journey

Major MCU Villain Actor in Iron Man 2 Was Original Choice for Tony Stark, Not Robert Downey Jr

SUMMARY

  • MCU almost cast Sam Rockwell as Tony Stark.
  • The Justin Hammer fame actor could not beat Robert Downey Jr.
  • Jennifer Aniston's ex-husband got Rockwell the part in Iron Man 2.
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Now it is impossible to imagine anyone else playing the iconic MCU character Iron Man other than Robert Downey Jr. However, he was not the only contender for the role. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Moon actor, Sam Rockwell was in the race as well.

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Sam Rockwell in Iron Man 2
Sam Rockwell in Iron Man 2

Rockwell has been a brilliant actor with several astounding performances to his credit. Obviously, he couldn’t beat Downey in the audition but that was not the end of terms of the actor with MCU, he appeared in Iron Man 2 as a major villain giving a hard time to Tony Stark.

Also read: Robert Downey Jr.’s Critically Panned ‘Iron Man 2’ Had References To Black Panther and Namor Hidden in Plain Sight

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Sam Rockwell— Almost Became Tony Stark

Robert Downey Jr and Sam Rockwell in Iron Man 2
Robert Downey Jr and Sam Rockwell in Iron Man 2

Iron Man is undoubtedly one of the biggest and most important franchises of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Robert Downey Jr as a billionaire Tony Stark aka Iron Man nailed it and paved the way for a new dawn of superhero movies at the studio. But several actors were in the mix before casting Downey in the role.

Iron Man 2 villain Justin Hammer actor Sam Rockwell almost made it to play the titular MCU character. “At one point, Jon [Favreau] had called me about possibility screen-testing for the part of Tony Stark in Iron Man,” Rockwell told AV Club.

“And whatever happened, I think I was out of the running. Robert [Downey Jr.] just killed it, you know, and I never heard anything after that. So in a way, I think Jon was basically saying, ‘This is your chance to be Tony Stark. This will be your version of Tony Stark.’ We gave him the glasses and kind of sleazed him up a little. But that’s exactly right. It was a chance to do Tony Stark.”

Of course, Jon Favreau, the director of the first two installments of the franchise preferred Downey over Rockwell but he was certainly impressed with The Green Mile villain and brought him back as villainous entrepreneur and head of Hammer Industries, Justin Hammer.

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Also read: “It sucked”: Robert Downey Jr.’s ‘Iron Man 2’ Got a Personalised Criticism From Steve Jobs Who Called Disney CEO To Complain About the $624M Film

Sam Rockwell On Playing Justin Hammer

Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2
Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2

Rockwell was particularly happy and believed that he was lucky for the part of Hammer he played in the 2010 movie. “I was lucky on Iron Man 2 because I had Justin Theroux, who had written the script,” Rockwell told AV Club.

Theroux has been a friend of the actor, “We had done theater in Williamstown.” He talked to Jon Favreau about casting Rockwell. “And Jon and I know each other, and they kind of discussed the idea of splitting the villain into two characters,” he added.

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“There wasn’t really a full script written when I agreed to do it, so I had to trust that Justin and Jon were going to be able to guide me through that. Because the script kept changing! I wore an earpiece at one point because we wrote a speech at lunch. So it was intense, but very dialogue-driven, very actor-friendly. For an action movie, I did a lot of acting in that. Favreau was great and Justin was fantastic, and so between the two of them, we’ve managed to figure it out. I’m really proud of that character.”

Further, the actor said that Hammer is similar to DC’s Lex Luthor. “It’s kind of a version of Lex Luthor,” he said admitting that he stole it from a Bill Murray movie. “And I remember watching Bill Murray in Kingpin for that. Again, stealing from Bill Murray.” Hammer is an important character in the movie and acts as one of the major villains against Tony Stark and Rockwell’s performance was really commendable.

Also read: Before Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr, Jon Favreau Wanted Iron Man 2 Villain to Play Tony Stark

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Written by Lachit Roy

Articles Published: 911

Lachit Roy is a seasoned writer specializing in science and entertainment news. Armed with a postgraduate degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Tezpur University, he brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to his craft.

Lachit is particularly passionate about crafting engaging content on entertainment news and trends. A dedicated movie enthusiast, he possesses an in-depth understanding of the cinematic world and takes joy in disseminating the latest updates to the global fandom. When not immersed in writing, Lachit can be found indulging in his love for movies and series, occasionally tending to his garden, but predominantly expanding his expertise in the realms of his interests.