Tom Cruise – Iron Man
It’s near impossible to imagine anyone but RDJ playing the role of sarcastic billionaire playboy Tony Stark but before Iron Man came out in 2008, Tom Cruise was the man who seemed most likely to take on the role.
Before anyone even knew what a ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ was, Iron Man endured nearly two decades of development hell.
Universal initially acquired the film rights to the character in 1990, but the film failed to find footing for years and in 1998, one year after Nicolas Cage expressed interest and ten years before Iron Man finally appeared on the big screen, Cruise was linked to the part when it looked like the film would finally go before the cameras.
In 2004, Marvel Studios executive Kevin Feige confirmed Cruise had been in the running for the role, saying: “There have been discussions [with Cruise] over the last several years and there are a number of factors involved.”
Thankfully, Marvel took a chance and cast Downey Jr, and the rest, as they say, is history.