After a while, Sam Raimi finally decided to return to the superhero genre as the director of the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness film, and it seems that he already has a big surprise for us! Could Tom Cruise be appearing as an alternative universe Iron Man in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
Current rumors, fueled by a very low-quality leaked set photo, suggest that Tom Cruise might indeed be making a cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as an alternative version of Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. These are just rumors and the image is too unclear for us to actually confirm anything, but the rumors are still there.
In the continuation of this article, we are going to tell you everything we know about the rumor in question, as well as Tom Cruise’s history with the Iron Man character. If these rumors prove to be true, and we’ll see just how likely they are, this would be one of the biggest MCU cameos, certainly very close to Maguire and Garfield reprising their roles in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Let us see what we know!
Will Tom Cruise Play Iron Man in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
If you ever scrolled your Facebook feed or your Twitter feed or just anything related to The Avengers, you’ve probably seen the memes and even videos related to the fancasting of the Avengers, had they been made during the 1990s and early 2000s. If you paid attention, you’ll probably remember that in each of those memes and videos, the only actor to have appeared in the role of Iron Man was none other than – Tom Cruise.
The fan trailer we linked above shows that we’ve been talking about and it’s actually great (okay, save for Van Damme as Captain America – what’s up with that, really?), but it’s not completely random. Namely, Tom Cruise has a history with the Iron Man role, a fact that most people are not aware of, actually.
The “saga” actually started back in 1998, when Cruise himself confirmed that he was interested in producing and starring as Iron Man in a solo superhero movie, but the project never materialized. Later, when Disney actually decided to launch the MCU, they approached Cruise for the role, but he declined, later explaining:
“It’s not happening. Not with me, no … They came to me at a certain point and, when I do something, I wanna do it right. If I commit to something, it has to be done in a way that I know it’s gonna be something special. And as it was lining up, it just didn’t feel to me like it was gonna work. I need to be able to make decisions and make the film as great as it can be, and it just didn’t go down that road that way. (…) It was two years before we decided to make [War of the Worlds]. There’s a commitment. Obviously, I trust Steven… I’ve never just made a movie to make a movie. I’ve always made it because I was really interested in the story. I wanted to make that kind of picture and see what it would take. And it was an adventure for me. And for [Iron Man], it just wasn’t panning out, so far. As of yet…”– Tom Cruise (via IGN)
The role finally went to Robert Downey Jr., who made it his own and the rest is history. Or, is it now? Sparked by a set photo leak (see below), the Internet has been buzzing with rumors that Tom Cruise is coming to the MCU to finally play Iron Man, more than 20 years after the initial idea. Now, we’ll be discussing the possibilities and rumors in the following sections but what we can say here is the following – as of yet, no one has officially responded to these rumors, neither Marvel, nor the actor himself.
This means that we don’t have any confirmation of these rumors, but also that no one has denied them yet. This is certainly good news, especially the latter, but if you remember how Andrew Garfield lied about his involvement in No Way Home, we wouldn’t really trust Tom Cruise denying his involvement, would we? The rumors about Maguire and Garfield har proven to be true so we do hope that that that will be the case with Cruise as well.
Now, let us see what else we know.
Which Version of Iron Man Would Tom Cruise Play?
“The Multiverse is a concept about which we know frighteningly little!”– Doctor Strange in ”Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021)
The quote by Doctor Strange beautifully sums up everything we know about the concept of the Multiverse as it has been introduced to the MCU. Now, the Multiverse is a well-known concept from the comic books so we’ll explain it in short, if you’re new to the concept. The Multiverse is the collection of alternate universes that share a universal hierarchy; it is a subsection of the greater Omniverse, the collection of all alternate universes.
A great variety of these universes originated as differences with respect to other realities, in an event with different possible results it gives rise to different universes, one for each result. Some may appear to be taking place in the past or future due to differences in the way time passes in each universe. Often new universes and dimensions are born due to time travel (another form of divergence).
Eternity once said that there are almost infinite aspects to it, thus establishing the then official Marvel’s positioning about the Multiverse’s fundamental nature. The Beyonder later estimates that there are a “seemingly endless number of dimensions”, thereafter exploring the entire Multiverse and its “innumerable planes.” crossovers also leads to an infinite number of dimensions.
Furthermore, Molecule Man (who was nearly omniscient) posited there are infinite dimensions parallel to Earth’s universe which together constitute the Multiverse. Lastly, it is stated later in an esoteric text that there is “literally a transfinite number, that is, a number greater than infinity” of universes that make up the Multiverse.
This short introduction serves as a prelude to our answer. Now, seeing how there is practically an infinite number of alternative universes and how we don’t know which of these universes Doctor Strange is going to access in the movie, we don’t know which version of Iron Man Tom Cruise could be playing if he, indeed, makes an appearance in the movie.
It could be a completely original version from a previously unknown alternative universe, or it could be a version that is somehow tied to an already-existing alternative universe, such as the alternative universe of Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (somewhat likely, seeing how Cruise was originally set to play Iron Man around that time), Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man (less likely, as there is no visible connection), or even Sony’s current Venom universe (but that one is highly unlikely due to legal issues).
In the end, we don’t actually know which version of Iron Man Tom Cruise could be playing. As Strange said, we know very little about the Multiverse itself and the infinite number of possibilities the Multiverse gives us, still has us guessing. Still, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is less than a half a year away (unless it gets delayed, but we hope it won’t) so we should be getting our answers soon enough.
Tom Cruise as Iron Man: Leaked Image?
And now, let us discuss the source of all these rumors. Sure, the connection between Tom Cruise and the Iron Man character is much older than the MCU itself, that much we know, but the rumors are raving like crazy thanks to one leaked set image and here it is:
Now, the quality of the image is horrible, we know, but this is the original photo and this is the best we’ve got. Now, this guy certainly does look like Tom Cruise smiling and the image seems to be taken from the set of the movie, so we don’t have any reason to doubt its authenticity. No one has provided us with anything that would cast even a shadow of a doubt about the photo’s authenticity. But is that Tom Cruise?
That – we don’t know! It could very well be, but it could also very well be a random actor or a stunt double. The photo is suggestive and it has us hoping that Tom Cruise will appear as an alternative version of Iron Man in the MCU, which would be awesome and we honestly hope that this leaked set image turns out to be the real thing. If it does, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will certainly be a major success for the MCU and a record-shattering movie.