Marvel Studios wanted to cast Tom Cruise as in the 2000s Cruise was more bankable and a well known star while Robert Downey Jr was dealing with the personal challenges at that time.
It is nearly impossible to imagine anybody else playing Iron Man other than Tony Stark. While actor Robert Downey Jr is synonymous with the superhero, Mission Impossible star Tom Cruise was considered to play Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Cruise felt that the role wouldn’t work and hence didn’t accept the offer of playing Iron Man in the film.
Marvel Studios wanted to cast Tom Cruise as in the 2000s Cruise was more bankable and a well known star while Robert Downey Jr was dealing with the personal challenges at that time. Tom Cruise is the first choice of Marvel Studios and were keen on casting him in the film. Cruise had also confirmed that there were talks about him playing the role of Iron Man. The actor didn’t go ahead with the movie as he “didn’t feel it would work”. “It’s not happening and definitely not with me. He was also reported saying that Robert Downey Jr was the perfect fit for the role and he couldn’t imagine anyone else playing iron man other than Downey. As for him, Robert Downey brought the character to life.
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Robert Downey Jr’s path to bagging the role was far from easy because of his past. The actor’s past was bogged down with drugs and alcohol issues. Marvel was adamant to not cast him in the film yet director Jon Favreau fought hard for him to get the role.
Director Favreau said, in a Rolling Stone interview, that Marvel refused to hire Robert Downey Jr. Their response was that “under no circumstances are we prepared to hire him for any price.”
The director had called the actor and told him that he fought hard with him and did every possible thing for him to get the role. The director waited and Iron Man became the billion-dollar franchise. He also said that Robert Downey Jr so effortlessly connected with the role of Iron Man.
Robert Downey Jr was also offered to play the role of Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun, before Cruise started getting recognition for the role. Downey has also recently revealed that Cruise was the first choice to play Charlie Chaplin in director Richard Attenborough’s Chaplin. The film went to Downey for which he received his first Academy Award nomination.