Tom Cruise wanted to play Rorschach in Watchmen, Zack Snyder reveals

Zack Snyder reveals that Tom Cruise campaigned to play fan-favorite vigilante Rorschach in his movie adaptation of Watchmen.
"Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" New York Premiere
"Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" New York Premiere / Mike Coppola/GettyImages

Zack Snyder's Watchmen (2009) remains one of the greatest comic book adaptations ever created. It's a near-perfect rendition of Alan Moore's beloved comic book, doing it justice and then some, and it's aged like fine wine. Looking back on the picture after over a decade, Snyder reveals that Tom Cruise almost landed the iconic role of Rorschach.

Rorschach, a masked vigilante determined to figure out who killed the Comedian, was masterfully played in the movie by Jackie Earle Haley. In hindsight, it's impossible to consider anyone else for the role, but at the time, Tom Cruise thought he had what it took. Cruise was a busy man in the naughties, starring in everything from Valkyrie to Tropic Thunder to continuing his adventures in the Mission: Impossible franchise. When he learned that Watchmen was being made, he wanted to further expand his reach.

"He wanted to play Rorschach, which, I mean obviously, he could have done," director Zack Snyder said on the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast. "Yeah. But we had Jackie already and Jackie is, like, unbelievable! I mean, but I certainly would have considered Tom in retrospect if I hadn't had Jackie."

Moreover, Snyder explained that he was more keen to have Cruise play another key character. "I wanted Tom Cruise for Ozymandias," he explained. "Tom wanted to play Rorschach."

Cruise didn't play the egomaniacal Ozymandias either; Matthew Goode was cast in that role instead. Funnily enough, at the time of the movie's release, Snyder thinks that Cruise's fame might have distracted from the story had he been cast. “I think if you have a Tom Cruise, someone of that stature of fame, it makes it harder to present this other world and keep the viewer right there in it,” he said.

Another comic book role that Tom Cruise never got to portray is Iron Man, a part he was always famously linked with. But then again, we got to see Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, so who's complaining? There's plenty of DeepFake videos out there of him as Iron Man; let's wait for the internet to create some of him as Rorschach.

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