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Tom Cruise may be indestructible as an action star, but that still doesn’t make him Iron Man!
The actor, 60, revealed in a new interview with the Phase Zero podcast that while rumors have swirled over the years about him potentially playing Marvel’s iconic hero, he wasn’t close to landing the role.
“Not close,” he confirmed. “I love Robert Downey Jr., and I can’t imagine anyone else playing that role, and I think it’s perfect for him.”
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The statement comes nearly a year after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness screenwriter Michael Waldron revealed to rolling stone that Cruise was introduced to play a variant of Tony Stark in the 2022 film.
And even before that, fans were circulating the rumor that Cruise was being considered for the original role of Iron Man, which 57-year-old Downey Jr. took on in 2008 to launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Yeah, that was totally made up. I mean, there’s no Tom Cruise cut footage,” Waldron said of the online rumors. “But I love Tom Cruise, and I said to [Marvel Studios president] Kevin [Feige] at one point, I was like, ‘Could we have Tom Cruise’s Iron Man?’ I remember reading about it in Ain’t It Cool News at the time, that Tom Cruise was going to be Iron Man.”
He added: “While we were talking about it online, I was like, ‘Yeah, that would be cool!’ “
Waldron clarified that he doesn’t believe anyone contacted the actor “due to his availability.”
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In 2005, Cruise told IGN that he had been approached to play Iron Man for the MCU at the time and why it didn’t work out. “They came to me at a certain point, and when I do something, I want to do it right,” he explained. “If I commit to something, it has to be done in a way that I know it’s going to be something special.”
“And as it lined up, I just didn’t feel like it was going to work,” he added. “I need to be able to make decisions and make the movie as good as possible, and it just didn’t go that way.”
While Cruise may not be part of the MCU, those who have been for the past decade say they see their teammates as more than just teammates.
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Back in December, Don Cheadle told PEOPLE it’s “still like home when we go back” – referencing the MCU.
The star, who has played Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes (aka War Machine) in films since joining the cast in the 2010s iron man 2added, “I’ve kind of grown over the last 12 years with this cast that I really have fun with.”