How Tom Cruise Could Have Been Iron Man
Society4 Minutes Read

How Tom Cruise Could Have Been Iron Man

July 5, 2022 Share

Michael Waldron, writer of ‘Multiverse of Madness’, reveals how he wanted Tom Cruise to play the iconic role.

With the latest release ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ crossing the billion-dollar mark for Tom Cruise, it’s safe to say that the sequel to the 1980s classic is breaking more than just the sound barrier. 

Known as one of the biggest modern-day movie stars, Cruise’s box office longevity is a tell-tale sign that at 60 years of age, the actor is still a massive draw on the big screen when it comes to smashing records. 

Image courtesy of Variety

Before the release of Maverick, Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing film worldwide was ‘Mission: Impossible- Fallout’, bringing in a total of $791M. Not only was it the sixth installment of the franchise, but also the most successful. A clear indication that after 41 years of acting, the Hollywood star shows no signs of slowing down. 

Image courtesy of Empire

Both ‘Mission: Impossible- Fallout’ and ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ will collectively gross over $2 billion marking two record-breaking back-to-back releases for Cruise, making him a huge asset to any upcoming film or franchise. 

But what if things had gone differently?

Back in 2007, during the early pre-production stages of Marvel’s Iron Man, Tom Cruise had been heavily linked with the role of Tony Stark. Having proven himself as a suave, charismatic, and no-bulls**t action star. Never afraid to do his own stunts, the adrenaline junkie seemed to fit the bill perfectly. The role, unfortunately, never came to fruition. Cruise himself had stated after being pitched the role, he felt it didn’t have enough potential as a franchise for the actor to agree to a long-term contract. 

Image courtesy of Rolling Stone

A few years later, with Robert Downey Jr. being cast, ‘Iron Man’ turned out to be a box office hit pivotal in the Disney buyout. 

Since its release, Marvel films have continued to dominate and control international box offices, with many thanks to Disney: who purchased Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion on December 31st, 2009, transforming it into one of the biggest Entertainment franchises to ever exist, valued now at a whopping $53 billion – and that’s just this year. 

Had Tom Cruise taken the leap of faith 15 years ago, he could have very well reached the $1 billion mark earlier in his career. 

Image courtesy of Mashable

After three ‘Iron Man’ movies and ‘The Avengers’, it would be a strange thought to see Tony Stark played by anyone other than Robert Downey Jr. – seeing how effortlessly he portrayed Stark- both sharing uncanny personality traits and lifestyles. Now 2022, it would seem the idea of Tom Cruise playing Iron Man is something we will never see. That was until Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness screenwriter Michael Waldron contacted Marvel boss Kevin Feige to see if it would be possible to have Cruise star in a cameo. 

Image courtesy of Total Film

Waldron opened up in an interview with Rolling Stone, about how Feige and himself had gone for the idea. Unfortunately due to Cruise’s lack of availability to film the new ‘Mission: Impossible, it was a no-go. 

“I love Tom Cruise, and I said to Kevin, Could we get Tom Cruise’s, Iron Man? Unfortunately, as cool as that could’ve been, Mission Impossible seemingly got in the way. I just don’t think it was ever an option, because of availability.”

With Tom Cruise associated with some of the most successful franchises in modern-day cinema, joining the MCU isn’t entirely out of the question, especially with rumors circulating that the star is in talks for future projects. Nevertheless, Marvel fans will just have to wait and see what the future holds for both top prospects.  

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Author: Eoin McKenna
Iron Man
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Michael Waldron
Robert Downey Jr.
Tom Cruise
Top Gun: Maverick