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Doctor Strange 2 writer finally opens up about Multiverse of Madness leaks

Updated May 13th, 2022 7:27AM EDT
Doctor Strange 2 Super Bowl Trailer
Image: Marvel Studios

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now playing in theaters, so we don’t have to talk about all of the rumors anymore. We now have confirmations for those wild cameo leaks, and many of them were accurate. But the wildest Multiverse of Madness claim, that Tom Cruise would appear in Doctor Strange 2, turned out to be fake.

Not that we ever received confirmation that the Tom Cruise cameo was happening. Doctor Strange 2 wasn’t like No Way Home in terms of the accuracy of the leaks. But we now have Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron on the record discussing Tom Cruise’s Iron Man. Apparently, the actor was never going to be in Multiverse of Madness.

Some big spoilers follow below, so you should definitely watch the movie before going forward.

What are the Doctor Strange 2 cameos?

Multiverse of Madness featured several exciting cameos, some of which were confirmed in Marvel trailers. That’s four Illuminati members, including Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), and Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch).

Much to the delight of fans, Mister Fantastic (John Krasinski) and Black Bolt (Anson Mount) completed that Illuminati roster. Of course, we did see last-minute rumors confirming these surprise cameos.

Mordo qualifies as a cameo even though he is an expected character for any Doctor Strange movie. That’s because we’re looking at a variant. On the same note, we saw multiple versions of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), including Defender Strange, Supreme Strange, and Sinister Strange. Similarly, we had two Wanda variants (Elizabeth Olsen) and two Christines (Rachel McAdams).

Then there are the Ultron bots, which aren’t set out to exterminate the human race. And they’re the closest thing we get to an Iron Man variant. But we have no idea who created them. This is, by the way, where a Tom Cruise cameo would have worked in Multiverse of Madness. Not that the movie needs any more superheroes in that universe.

Not to mention that of all these Doctor Strange 2 characters only a few survived. Mordo, Wanda, and Christine are still alive in the Earth-838 reality. Everyone else died either because 616 Wanda killed most of them. The MCU Doctor Strange killed Sinister Strange. And the Illuminati executed Supreme Strange, but that happened well before the events in this film.

Doctor Strange 2 Super Bowl Trailer
The face you make when you hear Patrick Stewart’s voice in a Multiverse of Madness trailer. Image source: Marvel Studios

Did Marvel even want Tom Cruise in Multiverse of Madness?

Speaking of Illuminati killing Supreme Strange, that scene also gave us another exciting cameo that’s hardly mentioned. We have the body of a dead Thanos in the shot, which is a great cameo to have.

Waldron shared some of the Doctor Strange 2 cameo secrets with Rolling Stone now that the movie is out.

The writer revealed that Tom Cruise was never in the movie. But he did pitch the Iron Man cameo idea to Kevin Feige.

“Yeah, that [Tom Cruise cameo rumor] was totally made up,” Waldron said. “I mean, there’s no cut footage of Tom Cruise! But I love Tom Cruise, and I said to Kevin [Feige] at one point, I was like, could we get Tom Cruise’s Iron Man? I remember reading about that in Ain’t It Cool News back in the day, that Tom Cruise was going to be Iron Man.”

Pressed about the matter, he said he didn’t believe Marvel reached out to the actor. Tom Cruise was shooting Mission Impossible 7 and 8 at the time.

Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness promo.
Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness promo. Image source: Marvel Studios via YouTube

The final Illuminati roster

Waldron also said that the final Illuminati lineup is beyond his “wildest dreams of who we could get — and then dispatch.” He didn’t reveal, however, who was in his initial team.

“I never dreamed we’d be able to do that. But the lineup is close to, I think, who was originally in my first draft, which was: ‘Okay, I know it can’t actually be this.’ And then it ended up being close to that.”

“It was just a moving target of who’s available and who’s right,” he continued. “It became, “All right, if you’re putting together an Illuminati, who would actually need to be in it?” You’d have people with certain power sets. And we tried to be true to what kind of characters were represented in the Illuminati in the comics.”

Will we ever see Tom Cruise as Iron Man in the MCU in the future? That’s something Waldron hasn’t tackled in the interview, which you can read in full at this link. But some leakers did say before Doctor Strange 2 that Tom Cruise might show up in a different MCU project in the future.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.