Before Justice League, Zack Snyder
directed another ambitious superhero ensemble with Watchmen.
The film adaptation of Alan Moore's iconic graphic novel was well-received
, and looking back at the film, there is a casting decision that almost happened which could have boosted its relevance and popularity even more. That casting was Tom Cruise as Adrian Veidt, also known as Ozymandias, a role that was played by Matthew Goode in the 2009 movie.
As casting for the movie began, Cruise was rumored to be in talks to star in the film. According to this 2007 interview with Snyder
, the director confirmed he had talked with him about playing a major role in Watchmen,
and Snyder confirmed Cruise was interested. When asked if the role he was interested in was Ozymandias, Snyder also confirmed this. Eventually Cruise decided he was no longer interested
in the project, and Goode was cast instead.
While Cruise playing an anti-hero like Adrian Veidt would be against his usual type, he's proven in the past that he's capable of such a role. He's given compelling performances as characters who are not the typical good-guy protagonists in films such as Magnolia, Interview with the Vampire and Collateral, so he could've delivered as the antagonist Ozymandias.
Snyder's Watchmen already had an impressive cast of talented performers, such as Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. However, had Cruise also starred in this, then the film may have received more mainstream media coverage and appealed to a wider audience. It also would've marked Cruise's first time in a superhero film.
Cruise has been one of Hollywood's most reliable lead actors for decades, consistently starring in big-budget action movies and franchise films to this day. That being said, Cruise has surprisingly never been in a superhero movie despite the genre's incredible popularity over the past two decades, and the only movie in his filmography that is close to a comic book adaptation is Edge of Tomorrow,
which is based off the manga series All You Need Is Kill.
Cruise has shown no signs of slowing down and is staring in the upcoming sequels to both Mission: Impossible
and Top Gun.
With superhero media also remaining popular, it wouldn't be surprising to see Cruise make his debut in a superhero movie or TV series sometime in the future, whether he's playing a hero, mentor or villain.