Not Robert Downey Jr, this superstar was first choice for Iron Man in Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Marvel Studios had considered Tom Cruise to play Iron Man in the 2008 film. When Cruise refused, director Jon Favreau brought in Robert Downey Jr. and the rest is history.


Robert Downey Jr is one of the highest-grossing actors of all time as his films as a leading actor have grossed over $14 billion worldwide. The majority of that proportion has come from the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, in which he has portrayed the superhero Iron Man. But, the actor wasn’t the first choice for the role considering his history with substance abuse addiction.

Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and New Line Cinema planned to make a film on Iron Man since 1990 but the project never took off. In 2005, when Marvel Studios reacquired the rights, they started everything from scratch. With Tom Cruise as being the most bankable star back then, he was the obvious choice for the role.

In an interview with the entertainment portal IGN, Cruise revealed why he refused to play Iron Man as he stated, “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.”

When Jon Favreau was finalised as the director in 2006, he brought in Robert Downey Jr along with him as he believed Robert would be to Iron Man, what Johnny Depp is to the Pirates of the Carribean series. Robert’s portrayal of Iron Man was loved by the audiences across the globe and the actor got his first blockbuster with the 2008 film.

Downey Jr went on to play Iron Man in Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and finally, Avengers: Endgame (2019). Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, and The Avengers are among the ten highest-grossing films of all time.

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