• Tom Cruise’s ambition and commitment to roles could have resulted in an interesting portrayal of Rorschach in
  • Cruise’s lack of major villainous roles may have also made playing Ozymandias equally intriguing in the 2009 movie.
  • Despite the actor’s campaign to be in the 2009 movie, Snyder ultimately couldn’t part with his casting decision for Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach.



Zack Snyder reveals that Tom Cruise chased the role of a certain key Watchmen character. The 2009 superhero film was praised as a gritty, visually striking, and faithful adaptation of the Alan Moore graphic novel it was based on, but the complex narrative proved to be too hard to follow for those who weren’t already familiar with the source material. The film holds a 65% from critics and 71% from audiences on review-aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. Watchmen was also considered a box office flop, grossing only $185 million, but its gritty tone helped shape the future of superhero films.

In an interview with Happy Sad Confused, Watchmen director Snyder revealed that Cruise wanted to play Rorschach. The reveal comes right after Snyder said that he wanted Cruise to play Ozymandias. The conversation about the reveal is brief, but Snyder said that Cruise was capable of playing the dark, complex character Rorschach, only for the filmmaker to have already cast Jackie Earle Haley. Check out what Snyder shared in the quotes and video below:

Zack Snyder: I wanted Tom Cruise for Ozymandias. Tom wanted to play Rorschach.

Josh Horowitz: Tom wanted to play Rorschach?

Zack Snyder: He wanted to play Rorschach, which, I mean obviously, he could have done. 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.

Horowitz: So you meet with Tom, and you’re like, “Ozymandias.” He’s like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I wanna play that weird, crazy guy.”

Snyder: Which would have been unbelievable, in retrospect, yeah.

Cruise’s Ambition & Commitment Would Have Produced An Interesting Rorschach

Jackie Earl Hayley as Rorschach

Despite Cruise not being known for playing characters like Rorschach, the actor’s ambition and commitment to his roles may have resulted in an interesting portrayal of the character.

The world of Watchmen is one filled with anti-heroes. Cruise playing Rorschach would have been an interesting choice, as the actor is better known for playing characters who are clearly heroes, like Mission: Impossible‘s Ethan Hunt or Top Gun‘s Maverick. By taking on the role of Rorschach, he may have produced a dark, morally complex character Cruise isn’t well known for.

Despite Cruise not being known for playing characters like Rorschach, the actor’s ambition and commitment to his roles may have resulted in an interesting portrayal of the character. Whether it be in his action-oriented work or some of his more dramatic fare, like Born on the Fourth of July, the four-time Oscar nominee has frequently shown a dedication to pouring himself completely into his roles. The recent installments of Mission: Impossible are prime examples of this, as Cruise has opted to do most of his own stunts, many of which are incredibly dangerous.


The Most Dangerous Stunt In Every Mission Impossible Movie

The Mission: Impossible series is Tom Cruise’s vessel to seemingly fulfill some kind of death wish, and it couldn’t be more entertaining.

Given Rorschach was one of the more action-heavy characters in Snyder’s Watchmen with his various vigilante work and brutal escape from prison with the help of Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II, Cruise could’ve leaned into the stunt performing he’s now become known for with the 2009 movie. That being said, the argument could also be made that the star’s lack of major villainous roles throughout his career could’ve made his playing Ozymandias to have been just as intriguing. While the movie may not have scored widespread acclaim, Haley’s performance does remain a standout, assuring that Snyder ultimately made the right choice.

Source: Happy Sad Confused


In 1986, DC Comics published a comic book limited series consist of 12 issues titled Watchmen. Creator Alan Moore worked with artist Dave Gibbons for the project, which released monthly issues from 1986 to 1985. A movie adaptation was released in March 2009 under the direction of Zack Snyder. The story of Watchmen happens in an alternate reality 1985, with references to events that occurred in the 1940s and 1960s. In the old days, a group of crime fighters in costume, called the Minutemen, went down in history as contributing to the many victories achieved by the United States. In the series’ history, the United States won the Vietnam War and no Watergate scandal occurred. In the present (1985), a Cold War between the U.S. and Soviet Union is threatening to turn into a nuclear war. One of the retired superheroes, The Comedia aka Agent Edward Blake (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), is murdered, and the investigation leads to a discovery of a conspiracy that brings other heroes out of retirement. Other heroes include Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias (Matthew Goode), Dan Dreiberg/Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson), Sally Jupiter/Silk Spectre (Carla Gugino) and Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley). In 2015, news about HBO working on a TV series for Watchmen began to surface with early reports saying Snyder will be the director of the TV adaptation as well. In mid-2017 news broke that Snyder will be replaced by Damon Lindelof, who is the co-creator and showrunner of Lost. As of this writing, Lindelof has neither denied nor confirmed his involvement in the project but he has been vocal about wanting to be part of it, and that he wants a close adaptation of the comic book.

Release Date
March 6, 2009

Patrick Wilson , Malin Akerman , Billy Crudup , Matthew Goode , Carla Gugino , Jackie Earle Haley , Jeffrey Dean Morgan

163 Mins

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