Tom Cruise reveals how close he got to playing Marvel Studios’ Tony Stark in Iron Man, the role that ended up going to Robert Downey Jr.

Tom Cruise opens up about almost starring in Iron Man and reveals how close he was to landing the role as Marvel Cinematic Universe’s inaugural hero. It has been almost 15 years since Marvel Studios launched its interconnected universe with Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau’s Iron Man. It’s difficult to imagine anyone else other than Downey playing Tony Stark, but had things panned out differently, Cruise would have played the genius, billionaire Avenger.

In a new interview with Phase Zero, the Top Gun: Maverick star reveals how close he was to playing MCU’s Iron Man. Watch the clip below:

While Cruise doesn’t deny being once attached to play Iron Man, he also revealed he was never really close to portraying the character. Unsurprisingly, he has nothing but great things to say about Downey’s performance as Tony Stark, saying:

Not close, not close. I love Robert Downey Jr. and I can’t imagine anyone else doing that role.

Related: Iron Man’s Secret Dark Mirror Showed Tony Stark’s Biggest MCU Flaw

Why Robert Downey Jr. Was Perfect As Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark putting on Iron Man suit

It’s no secret that making Iron Man was a big gamble for Marvel. The company used its remaining character rights to secure the funding for the project. Had it failed, not only would the MCU not exist, but it would have effectively lost the company the rest of its catalog. Luckily, Iron Man succeeded, effectively laying the groundwork for the franchise.

There are several factors that played into the movie’s success, but Downey’s performance as Tony Stark was one of the most significant. Admittedly, Marvel Studios was skeptical about the casting, with Feige saying that choosing Downey for Iron Man remains the biggest risk Marvel Studios have taken thus far. For more than a decade, the actor was one of the MCU’s biggest draws, highlighting just how consistently good he was in the role.

So, while seeing Cruise play Iron Man poses some intriguing possibilities, it’s safe to say Marvel Studios made the best call when they chose Downey as Iron Man. The actor will remain synonymous with the role for years to come. But perhaps with the introduction of the MCU’s multiverse, Marvel Studios can explore the idea of an alternate universe where Cruise is Iron Man.

More: RDJ’s Upcoming Roles Will Remind You Just How Good He Is Beyond Iron Man

Source: Phase Zero

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