It's a weird club to be in.
Can you imagine Nicholas Cage saying "I am Iron Man" with a straight face? Because that's what almost happened. In 1997! But he went on to play Ghost Rider instead, and Robert Downey Jr. ended up playing the role. But Nick Cage wasn't the only one being considered for Tony Stark...
His name was attached to Iron Man in the early 00s, but apparently he left the project because the script didn't feel right to him (via).
"I don’t know. It just … they came to me at a certain point and … when I do something, I wanna do it right. If I commit to something, it has to be done in a way that I know it’s gonna be something special. And as it was lining up, it just didn’t feel to me like it was gonna work."
Fair enough. The script was rumored to be unfinished throughout most of the production process, with numerous scenes being improvised by the actors.
No, not Jonah Hill.
Though tbh I'd watch that movie. Leonardo DiCaprio was on the list, but he ended up doing Body of Lies instead.
Even though he'd already been playing Wolverine, Fox owns those movies. He would have been free the play Iron Man without making the Marvel universe explode. Unfortunately [thankfully?] the rumors didn't amount to anything.
Would you have liked to see any of these actors play Iron Man?
It's weird to think how different those movies would be without RDJ in the leading role!