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Is Tom Cruise in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?

At this point, I'll believe anything.

Iron Man

With the second trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we fans were blessed with a whole heap of mind-blowing reveals. We’ve got Wanda returning to Westview in her quest to find her sons—and making some very incisive points along the way. We’ve got America Chavez punching holes in reality. We’ve got Professor X (possibly) making his MCU debut. We’ve got giant monsters, minotaurs, zombies, and more! But there’s one rumor that, while it sounded unbelievable when it first began to creep around the Internet, now seems like it might actually be plausible. Could we really be getting Tom Cruise as an Iron Man variant?

How the Rumor Started

Superior Iron Man in Marvel Comics.
(Marvel Comics)

The rumor about Tom Cruise sounded outlandish at first. Back when Marvel was casting the original Iron Man, Tom Cruise almost auditioned for the leading role, which, of course, went to Robert Downey Jr. instead. That fun little factoid lay dormant for over a decade until, as Multiverse of Madness’s release date started to approach, Twitter started to bubble here and there with rumors that he would appear in Stephen Strange’s new adventure as a variant of Iron Man from another reality.

What made the rumor highly dubious was that there was absolutely no hard evidence to support it. Everyone’s sources were either supposed anonymous leaks, tweets, or other websites passing on the same information that everyone else had. It just seemed too wild to be true.

But now, the trailer’s here and, well, this movie looks just as wild as the wildest rumors. Plus, now that Patrick Stewart is all but confirmed as Professor X (I mean, come on, that’s obviously his voice in the trailer, right?), we know that Marvel isn’t afraid to go big with all the cameos and alternate realities the multiverse can provide.

Plus, thanks to the trailer, we’ve got some very interesting hints that the rumor could be true.

The Evidence

I’ll get the less-convincing clue out of the way first: Some are speculating that the flaming figure who fights Wanda in the trailer could be Cruise’s Iron Man variant. However, it’s much more likely that this person is some version of Captain Marvel or Monica Rambeau.

An unknown, glowing figure appearing to be Monica or Maria Rambeau in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
(Marvel Entertainment)

However, the next hint is much stronger. Multiverse of Madness looks like it’s going to introduce the Illuminati, a sort of council of superheroes that protects the universe behind the scenes. In the comics, the Illuminati is made up of Professor X, Reed Richards, Black Bolt, Namor, Stephen Strange, and—wait for it—Iron Man. If the shadowy group in the trailer really is the Illuminati, then it only makes sense that it would include some multiverse version of Iron Man, especially with their use of Ultron sentries in the trailer.

Not only that, but some speculation (largely based on the unlikely link to the above glowing figure, so take it with a grain of salt) has floated the idea that this could even be the introduction of the megalomaniacal “Superior Iron Man” who, in the comics, was created in part by Doctor Doom and—wait for it—Scarlet Witch. And with conflicting reports about whether we can ever expect Downey Jr. to return to the role, it’s just as likely that another actor will take up the mantle. But will it be Tom Cruise?

Luckily, you don’t have to wait much longer to find out. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness comes out May 6!

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) lives in Los Angeles, where she reads tarot and watches Marvel movies. You can check out more of her writing at linktr.ee/juliaglassman, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.