Actor Tom Cruise has long enjoyed a history of playing action heroes but never a superhero. Still, many of characters come across as indestructible to the point where they might as well be a superhero. Most recently, Cruise has revived his popular Ethan Hunt role in Mission Impossible franchise and is flying high with enormous box office success from Top Gun: Maverick, The soon-to-be 60-year-old star has revealed how he came close to playing Tony Stark’s Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, the part went to Robert Downey Jr. who made the character and its armored body his own.
Prior to the release of 2008’s Iron Man, Cruise was offered the opportunity to play Tony Stark but turned it down. He has opened up as to why he turned it down. As someone who has a reputation for thorough work, performing his own stunts, etc., one of the actor’s priorities appears to be wanting control over the project.
Tom Cruise Proves He Is Still Popular But Hasn’t Ruled Out Superhero Films
Even Cruise admits that Downey has become so fused with Tony Stark that it is hard to imagine anyone else in the role. As for when he was first approached to star as Iron Man and why he declined the part, Cruise explained:
,[Marvel Studios] came to me at a certain time 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, it just didn’t go down that road that way.”
In another interview, Cruise confessed he believes the role of Tony Stark was perfect for Robert Downey Jr. He said,
“Not close and I love Robert Downey Jr. I can’t imagine anyone else in that role and I think it’s perfect for him.”
When it comes to allowing fans seeing him play a superhero at some point in time, the actor does not rule it out but does say the project would have to meet his standards, stating:
“It’s what’s the story? Does it interest me?”
Whether Cruise joins the MCU or DCEU remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the actor seems to enjoy playing a hero of the mission impossible kind.