Tom Cruise is refuting a long-held rumour that he was nearly cast as the lead in “Iron Man” before the studio ultimately decided on Robert Downey Jr.

During an interview with Phase Zero, Cruise didn’t deny that he was up for the role, but denied he was ever close to getting it.

“Not close, not close,” he said. “I love Robert Downey Jr., and I can’t imagine anyone else doing that role, and I think it’s perfect for him.”

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That said, Cruise isn’t shutting the door on someday appearing in a superhero film.

“I look at a movie and think, you know, I don’t rule anything out,” he added.

According to Cruise, if a Marvel or DC script came his way, he’d evaluate it the same way he always has.

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“It’s ‘What’s the story? What’s the character?'” he explained. “Does it interest me? Do I feel this is what an audience would like to see me in? What can I learn, and what can I contribute? That’s really how I look at things.”