25 Actors Who Could Have Been Superheroes

The proliferation of the superhero genre has nabbed nearly every A-lister in Hollywood — but these are the ones who have continued to stay away (for a time, of course).

Tom Cruise — Iron Man

To imagine anyone other than Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man feels like heresy of the highest order. But before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was even a thought in any studio’s head, Tom Cruise expressed interest in tackling the role. At this time, Robert Downey, Jr. was still considered a risk in Hollywood — his drug-fueled exploits and jail time made him a hard actor to bank on.

With RDJ and Tony Stark having become synonymously one in pop culture, it is difficult to see Tom Cruise fitting the bill. As Stark himself says in The Avengers, he is a “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” — Tom Cruise’s particular style and roles may have gleamed at these attributes, but something just feels off enough where we know only Downey, Jr. could have encapsulated and humanized such an erratic figure.

Image Source: Andrew Toth/FilmMagic/Getty Images