Tom Cruise wanted to play one of Zack Snyder’s most iconic roles

Tom Cruise wanted to play one of Zack Snyder’s most iconic roles

Tom Cruise personally requested to play an iconic character in Zack Snyder’s Watchmen — but the director was forced to look down and whisper, “No.”

Watchmen featured one of the strongest casts in Snyder’s filmography, with two stars particularly deserving praise: Billy Crudup as Dr Manhattan and Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach.

The latter actor’s performance fuels some of the best scenes in the movie (“None of you seem to understand. I’m not locked in here with you. You’re locked in here with me!”), but according to Snyder, Cruise had his heart set on playing the antihero.

During an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast ahead of Rebel Moon Part 2, Snyder was asked about casting what-ifs on Watchmen; specifically, the past possibility of Cruise playing Ozymandias. That was Snyder’s hope, but Cruise wanted to play Rorschach instead.

Snyder talks about Watchmen at 30:37 in the interview below:

“Tom wanted to play Rorschach [laughs], which obviously he could have done… but we had Jackie already, and Jackie is unbelievable. But I certainly would have considered Tom in retrospect if I hadn’t had Jackie,” he explained.

Rorschach would have been a sizeable departure for Cruise, as would Ozymandias; the star hasn’t played many villains across his career, with Interview with the Vampire’s Lestat de Lioncourt and Collateral’s Vincent sticking out as his most prominent (and Magnolia’s Frank Mackey).

But the timing makes sense: Watchmen came out in 2009, and this is when Cruise was taking on some unexpected roles, whether it was Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder or Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages.

As for Dr Manhattan, Synder didn’t so much confirm the rumors that Keanu Reeves was in consideration, but he admitted he may have been in the conversation. “My wife is a huge Keanu fan, she’s always bringing up Keanu for every role, so I think that probably makes sense to me that we probably talked about that,” he said.

“He’s probably a good Manhattan,” Snyder added, before stressing that Crudup is one of the favorite actors he’s ever worked with.


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Rebel Moon Part 2 hits Netflix tomorrow. You can also find out what other new movies are streaming this April.

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