Multiverse of Madness

Is Tom Cruise Iron Man in Doctor Strange 2? The wild MCU rumors, explained

Are MCU fans about to meet a new version of Tony Stark? Honestly, probably not.

Will Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness feature a surprise appearance from one of the world’s biggest movie stars? According to one popular ongoing rumor, it will.

The highly anticipated superhero movie promises to be one of the MCU’s biggest and most unpredictable titles, exploring alternate realities and variants in a way no other Marvel film has. The movie also promises to focus on some of the MCU’s most powerful figures, with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) both set to play major roles.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SCI-FI MOVIE? Tell us now for a chance to get paid to write an article for Inverse.

But Strange and Wanda aren’t the only existing MCU characters expected to appear in Multiverse of Madness. One rumor suggests that the film will bring viewers face-to-face with an alternate version of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark.

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange.Marvel Studios

Introducing the MCU’s New Tony Stark — Recent weeks have seen an increasing number of so-called Marvel leakers claiming that Tom Cruise will appear as a variant of Tony Stark in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Why Tom Cruise? Well, the Mission: Impossible star was in talks to play Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man before Robert Downey Jr. was cast in the role. Now one of the biggest rumors surrounding Multiverse of Madness is that Cruise will appear as a variant of Tony as a nod to his behind-the-scenes relationship to the role.

The only problem is that this rumor is likely false. Some well-known Marvel insiders, like @bigscreenleaks, have called the validity of this particular “leak” into question.

Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in 2018’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout.Paramount Pictures

The Cruise in the Room — While it’s looking increasingly likely that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will feature cameos from some surprise characters, the chances that one of them will be a variant of Tony Stark played by Cruise are, to put it lightly, slim.

Bringing Cruise in for such a small role that functions as nothing more than a nod to some discussions he and Marvel had 15 years ago doesn’t seem like something that either Cruise or Marvel would be interested in. And there just doesn’t seem like there’s much room in Multiverse of Madness for someone of Cruise’s star power.

Not only is the film busy bringing back important MCU characters like Strange, a dark variant of Strange, Wanda, Wong (Benedict Wong), and Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), it’s going to introduce important new players like America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) as well. And, if more credible rumors are to be believed, Multiverse of Madness will also feature surprise appearances from major comic characters like Professor X.

Combine the inclusion of all those characters with the fact that the film has to pick up many of the plot threads left dangling by WandaVision, Loki, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, and it’s hard to imagine a cameo from someone like Tom Cruise fitting anywhere in Multiverse of Madness. Not only would it be distracting, but it would also be a waste of Cruise’s talents.

“Your desecration of reality will not go unpunished.”Marvel Studios

The Inverse Analysis — It’s easy to see why Marvel fans are having so much fun speculating about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The film is set to be one of the most ambitious titles Marvel has ever released, and there’s definitely potential for some major surprises.

But just because Multiverse of Madness can go to certain alternate realities and introduce variants of beloved, pre-existing MCU characters, that doesn’t mean the film will do it just for the sake of doing it. While a cameo from Tom Cruise as Tony Stark would definitely be fun, it wouldn’t serve much of a purpose, which is why it seems so unlikely right now.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will hit theaters on May 6, 2022.