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Why He Turned Down the Role of Iron Man

Why Tom Cruise Turned Down The Role of Iron Man
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“I am Iron Man!” In another universe, the now-infamous line from the eponymous 2008 movie could have been spoken by Tom Cruise instead of Robert Downey Jr.

The Top Gun actor was initially offered the role of Tony Stark, but ultimately turned it down due to wanting a certain level of control over production.

Cruise opened up about why he chose not to take part in the Marvel film while speaking with IGN in February 2005.

“[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,” he said at the time. “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.”

The Mission: Impossible star later revealed that he thinks Downey Jr. was the right choice for the famous Avenger.

“I love Robert Downey Jr. I can’t imagine anyone else in that role, and I think it’s perfect for him,” he told during a 2018 interview.

Scroll down to relive more of Cruise’s movie career:

Does Tom Cruise Need a Lot of Control Over His Movies?

The Risky Business star is known for having a strong management presence on his films. However, The 2017 reboot of The Mummy, which was supposed to kickstart the “Dark Universe” for Universal Studios, ended up being a commercial failure.

Why Tom Cruise Turned Down The Role of Iron Man
Chiabella James/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

Similar to how the Marvel comic book line has its own cinematic universe, Universal executives wanted one for themselves. Instead of superheroes, this would feature classic monsters like the Mummy, Wolfman, Frankenstein and more with character crossovers between films.

Universal wanted The Mummy to do what Iron Man’s transition to the big screen did for Marvel. But it wasn’t meant to be.

The Mummy failed at the box office, pulling in only $32 million domestically during its open weekend with less-than-stellar reviews.

Insiders say the movie cost nearly $190 million to make and an additional $100 million to market and release across the globe.

While The Mummy didn’t find success, Cruise’s Top Gun franchise became a global phenomenon.

Who Is Iron Man?

Most people have heard of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which includes dozens of movies as well as several original TV shows.

It all started with 2008’s Iron Man. The film tells the story of Tony Stark, the billionaire head of Stark Industries, which manufactures weapons. Tony begins the film as an egotistical executive who is captured by terrorists demanding he build them a super weapon.

Seeing the horrific destruction his weapons can cause (and how easily they can fall into the wrong hands), Tony sees things from a new perspective. He escapes from his captors in an iron suit he built with the help of another prisoner and is rescued. Back…

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