5 Actors Who Could Have Played Iron Man

Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios

In the more than 10 years since Iron Man hit theaters, the world of superhero movies has changed. A lot. The 2008 blockbuster was the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it paved the way for all the rest of them—Avengers movies included. The film franchise's success is largely due to actor Robert Downey Jr., who has truly brought the character of Tony Stark to life and set the tone for the Marvel movies to come.

Though Downey proved to be the perfect fit to play the superhero, he was by no means the studio’s first choice. Or even their second. In fact, it took a lot of work to convince Marvel to officially cast him. Though it's hard to imagine the MCU without Downey, here are five other actors who were considered for the role.

1. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise stars in Mission Impossible - Fallout (2018)
Paramount Pictures

Tom Cruise responded to rumors that he was almost Iron Man, stating in 2018 that while he was considered, it didn’t go beyond that. "Not close," Cruise said of how close he got to the part. "Not close and I love Robert Downey Jr. I can't imagine anyone else in that role and I think it's perfect for him." Cruise's stunt work alone probably would have made him a decent pick.

2. Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman in Melbourne, Australia on September 4, 2015
Adam Trafford, AFL Media/Getty Images

This one is a little strange, considering Hugh Jackman already plays the X-Men's Wolverine, one of the world's most famous superheroes. But according to CBR, Jackman was considered for the role of Iron Man. For his part, Jackman has stayed relatively quiet on the subject—except to say that he's dying to kick Downey's a**. 

"I actually just asked the other day, I said, 'I don’t know what the legal situation is, but why don’t these companies come together? Why isn’t it possible?,'" Jackman said of his desire to see the X-Men meet up with the Avengers. "Because personally, I would love to mix it up with Robert Downey Jr. and Iron Man and kick his a**. It’d be great." (Be careful what you wish for, Hugh.)

3. Nicolas Cage

Actor Nicolas Cage arriving at a screening in 2011
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Nicolas Cage has a well-known affinity for superheroes (just check out his legendary screen test for Superman). According to ScreenCrush, Cage expressed interest in taking on the role of Tony Stark back in the 1990s—more than a decade before the film finally came to fruition. Alas, much like the Man of Steel, Cage's time in the Iron suit never came to be.

4. Sam Rockwell

Sam Rockwell in 'Iron Man 2'
Marvel Studios

Today, Sam Rockwell is an Oscar-winning actor. But when Jon Favreau initially approached him about playing Iron Man, he was largely known as a character actor (and had played a lot of villains). Though the titular part didn't work out, Rockwell did appear in Iron Man 2—as villain Justin Hammer.

5. Timothy Olyphant

Justified star Timothy Olyphant has all the makings of a great superhero. And, as he shared with Conan O'Brien in 2015, he ended up earning an audition for the role of Tony Stark. But luck was not on his side as it turns out that he actually tested for the role on the same day as Downey. Which just doesn't seem fair for any actor.

Captain Marvel's Goose the Cat Funko Pop! Toy Delivers Cuteness (and Spoilers)

Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios

Why pay Robert Downey Jr. $50 million to appear in an Avengers movie when you can just hire a cat and get the same buzz? Marvel Studios accountants must be debating this very issue now that Captain Marvel's supporting feline Goose has become the hit film's breakout star. Naturally, she has now been bestowed with an honor in line with her status: She's been immortalized as a Funko Pop! figure. Lots of them, actually.

The Funko Goose vinyl collectible, now available for $8.45, features her distinctive markings along with a “Goose” name tag. The now-famous cat joins a line of several other Captain Marvel Funko Pop! releases, including Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, and a 1990s-era Nick Fury.

But in this case, going down the Funko rabbit hole carries some risks for Captain Marvel fans. /Film reports that two of Funko's pending Goose releases may spoil some key revelations in the film. So you’re better off sticking with a classic Goose until you’ve seen the movie.

If you’re curious about the kind of cat wrangling that went on behind the scenes in the movie, you might be surprised to learn that there are actually three ways Goose performs onscreen. The production used an orange tabby named Reggie to portray Goose, with stand-ins Archie, Gonzo, and Rizzo filling in occasionally to perform specific tricks or to relieve a fatigued Reggie. There was also a CGI Goose and a cat puppet that the filmmakers used in scenes where actress Brie Larson needed to interact with her furry friend—because while Carol Danvers may love cats, Larson herself is allergic to them.

Explore Funko's whole Captain Marvel line on Amazon.

[h/t /Film]

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New Avengers: Endgame Theory Predicts That Four of the Original Heroes Will Die

Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios broke the internet last week when they dropped a brand-new trailer for the upcoming Avengers: Endgame.

Unlike the first trailer, which was released in December, this one gave fans much more insight into how the Avengers will attempt to defeat Thanos and restore balance to the world. And since the trailer provided these extra details, there's been even more fan speculation over the past several days about what the new footage could mean for some of our favorite superheroes. And according to at least one fan, the situation could be bleak for some of the original Avengers, as Comicbook.com reports.

After noticing something peculiar in the trailer, Redditor TheRealBrandini97 took to the social media platform to share their prediction that four major deaths could be upon us:

"[T]here was a theory going around that only two of the original six Avengers will survive at the end of Endgame. If you listen to the new trailer, you'll notice four of the original Avengers say the line, 'Whatever it takes.' The four that say this are Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye/Ronin, and lastly Iron Man. Could these be the four original members that sacrifice their lives to save everyone?"

Citing behind-the-scenes reports, the user mentions that Chris Evans is likely leaving the role of Steve Rogers, and Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man is likely about to see his last days as well.

As for the two other heroes, the theory states, "The Russo Brothers said Hawkeye would have a big arc in Avengers: Endgame that all Hawkeye fans would enjoy (what bigger arc than laying down your life, to bring your family and half of all life back?) And as for Black Widow, her movie is guaranteed to be a prequel now."

It's also mentioned that the Russo Brothers said 2016's Captain America: Civil War would play a fundamental part in Endgame.

"The four Avengers that repeated ['Whatever it takes'] in the new trailer happen to all [be featured] in Civil War while the other two original Avengers (Thor and Hulk), [who] didn't repeat the phrase, are not in Civil War," the Redditor adds.

Of all the theories out there right now, this one definitely has some legs. The repetition of "whatever it takes" definitely did stand out in the trailer, so maybe Marvel was hinting at this being the last hurrah for Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Black Widow.

We'll find out for sure when Avengers: Endgame arrives in theaters on April 26, 2019.

[h/t: Comicbook.com]