Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr. would not have been his legacy as the Mission: Impossible star, Tom Cruise was the first choice of the MCU. Downey Jr. became a blockbuster star, thanks to his rendering the egotistical yet covertly caring tech genius Tony Stark. After 11 years of building the most extensive movie world known as the MCU, Downey retired his metal and suit- hopefully not for good – after his character sacrificed himself for the universe in End Game. However, Mission Impossible star has had his reasons for not taking up the role.
Tom Cruise highly praises Robert Downey Jr., calls him the perfect Iron Man
The Mission: Impossible star, Tom Cruise later revealed that he thinks Robert Downey Jr. was the right choice for the famous Avenger. In an exclusive interview, Cruise opened up about the time when he was almost Iron Man. He abruptly denied that he was almost Iron Man and that this role looks perfect on Robert Downey Jr. He claims that none comes to his mind as it is unimaginable for anyone else to be Iron Man. Here is the video where he shares the viewpoint:
Downey Jr. was not even close to getting the role because of the personal issues he had been facing at that time but then he proved to be the “ideal fit” for Iron Man. With his charismatic, confident, and witty personality as Tony Stark, he was able to change the viewpoint of the MCU about him. In addition to the aforesaid attributes, the genius-minded and brilliant abilities to influence the environment around him, all this has testified to Cruise’s thoughts on Downey Jr. being the copybook Iron Man that he is.
Iron Man was not taken up by Tom Cruise and he had reasons for it
Tom Cruise opened up about why he chose not to participate in the Marvel film while speaking with IGN in February 2005. He mentioned that it did not ‘feel’ to him like this would work for him. He added that he does not rule anything out. He thinks about all the aspects that could be considered before going for a movie. All what he said was to imply that he did not want to commit to MCU as he did not see it going anywhere.
“They[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 wasn’t the only bankable actor considered for the role before Downey Jr., Director Jon Favreau approached Sam Rockwell ages before the screenplay was created. He was not offered the role of Iron Man but he was signed in before signing Downey Jr. for his epic role. Favreau offered the role of Justin Hammer, Stark’s business rival, one blockbuster later. Rockwell admitted that he accepted it not only because was he a fan of the first film, but because of his girlfriend – Leslie Bibb – who portrayed reporter and Tony Stark’s fling Christine Everheart.