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Tom Cruise’s MCU role may have leaked, and it’s not Iron Man

Published Feb 27th, 2022 1:06PM EST
Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame final battle
Image: Marvel Studios

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One of the most exciting MCU cameo rumors says Tom Cruise will play Iron Man in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Specifically, Cruise would play the Superior Iron Man version from the comics. This Tony Stark variant comes from the multiverse, and the second Doctor Strange 2 trailer does indicate that there is a world where Ultron drones exist to help humanity. That’s a universe where Iron Man’s Ultron project would have been successful.

However, not all Multiverse of Madness rumors out there agree on the Tom Cruise cameo. Some say the actor will not play Iron Man in the film. More recent reports say that Cruise is coming to the MCU, although it will not necessarily happen in the Doctor Strange sequel. The YouTuber who offered that detail now says that Cruise doesn’t even have to play Iron Man. He’ll still have an iron suit at his disposal, but he’ll be playing a totally different character.

Before we can explain, we’ll warn you that big spoilers might follow below.

Doctor Strange 2 cameo rumors

The reason why the Tom Cruise Iron Man rumors keep popping up is quite simple. The actor was Marvel’s first choice to play Tony Stark in the first Iron Man movie. Those talks fell through, and Robert Downey Jr. got the role. And we all know what followed. RDJ’s portrayal of Iron Made made the MCU a massive success.

But Iron Man died in Avengers: Endgame, and resurrecting him will cheapen his emotional arc. However, the multiverse lets Marvel bring back Iron Man without RDJ. And that’s why the Tom Cruise rumors keep popping up.

Doctor Strange 2 is the movie where we might see an alternate live-action Iron Man version. Let’s not forget that What If…? already delivered a few Iron Man variants, although RDJ did not voice those characters. Neither did Tom Cruise.

YouTuber Grace Randolph said a few days ago that she’s certain Tom Cruise is coming to the MCU in some capacity. She said at the time she was not sure who Cruise will play, indicating that it doesn’t have to be Iron Man.

But Cruise might still get to don an Iron Man armor. Randolph theorized in a new video that Marvel’s What If…? gives us the blueprint for the Doctor Strange 2 cameos. The animated TV show introduced the idea that even the smallest deviation from the history of events in the primary MCU reality can lead to different outcomes.

Doctor Strange 2 Super Bowl Trailer
Captain Marvel or Iron Man cameo? Image source: Marvel Studios

What if Tom Cruise isn’t Iron Man?

One example of the impact of those deviations is having Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) become Captain Marvel in the reality where the Illuminati imprison Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Randolph makes it clear that it’s Captain Marvel fighting Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) in the trailer. Maria is the superhero in the scene above, rather than Carol Danvers (Brie Larson).

Similarly, the YouTuber suggests there might be a reality out there where Obadiah Stane got rid of Tony Stark. In that reality, Stane would become Iron Monger, replacing Iron Man.

Jeff Bridges played Stane in the MCU’s main reality, where RDJ’s Tony Stark prevailed. But Tom Cruise might be the Obadiah Stane variant to become Iron Monger in the reality where Stane defeats Stark.

The theory is certainly interesting for at least one reason. It allows Marvel to avoid bringing back any version of Iron Man and potentially sullying Downey Jr’s legacy.

Tom Cruise could play Iron Monger for at least one movie. And maybe RDJ will deliver the alternate Iron Man version from the multiverse in a different film. Doctor Strange 2 is the next multiverse movie, but it’s not going to be the only one.

That said, Randolph is just speculating in the video below. She is confident that Tom Cruise is coming to the MCU, however. She says she’s 99.9% sure the actor will get a Marvel role, and she has had plenty of accurate leaks in the past. But she has no idea if Cruise will appear in Multiverse of Madness, or if he’ll play Iron Man.

Randolph said that Tom Cruise did not appear in the latest cut of Doctor Strange 2. But Marvel might just keep these surprises out of the test screening versions of the movie.

The full video about Tom Cruise playing Iron Monger follows below.

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.