rockwell

Much of the success off 2008′s Iron Man can be attributed to the performance of Robert Downey Jr., who brought humor and charisma to the character of millionaire playboy Tony Stark. But according to Hero Complex at the LATimes, Sam Rockwell was on Jon Favreau’s short list of people to play the role. Jon Favreau explained:

He 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.

It’s interesting to think how the film would have been different with Rockwell filling in Downey Jr.’s shoes. For my money, I think he would have done a fine job, although it’s hard to say if the film’s impact on Hollywood would have been the same. (Iron Man grossed $318 million domestically). In any case, Rockwell will square off against Downey Jr. in Iron Man 2, where he’ll play Hammer, one of Stark’s rivals. “I knew Sam could handle the exposition we needed, and that’s why we added the character of Hammer, who is quite different here than he is in the comics,” said Favreau.

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