Sam Rockwell was almost Iron Man


8th April 2010

Robert Downey Jr is Iron Man, right? So right. But back when RDJ was officially a risk, a few other names were on Jon Favreau's list. One of them? Iron Man 2 villain Justin Hammer aka Sam Rockwell.

It's a movie industry tradition to wonder what could have been when it comes to casting iconic roles - it's well known that Tom Selleck and his moustache were almost Indiana Jones, and that Kurt Russell auditioned for Han Solo. Of course, a dozen different actors try out for almost every role, so it's nearly always moot, but hey, us movie writers bore easily.

In an interview with the LA Times, Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau revealed that Robert Downey Jr wasn't always a lock for Tony Stark, and that one name on the shortlist was Sam Rockwell - a man he ultimately cast as the antagonist in the sequel.

"[Sam Rockwell] was one of the actors I was looking at for Tony Stark. There was some things he would bring to the role that would have been great. Sam is very charismatic and when I was looking at the character there was a list and he had a spot on it, which might have surprised some people.

Robert surprised some people, too, though, and now he is Tony Stark, he owns that role. Sam would have come up with interesting and different things.
Sounds like shit-stirring to me. Fight, fight, fight! While I couldn't possibly disagree that Robert Downey Jr totally owns the role, the thought of crazy little Sam Rockwell in that exo-suit gets me all kind of excited. I'm giggling, you just can't tell through my typing.

As a member of the official Sam Rockwell Fan Club (we prefer the term 'Rockwellards'), I find it baffling that he's never really top-lined a major movie, and worse, the movies he does choose almost always get driven into the ground by the studios.

Need further reasoning? Consider it done.

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