The anticipated superhero sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has finally hit theaters, and with it comes many big surprises. Without getting into spoiler territory here, there were some big names and huge reveals that were introduced in the film. There were some rumors that were ultimately proven to be true, but at the same time, other rumors about the film didn’t end up panning out.
One such rumor that had been swirling about before the film’s release was that Tom Cruise would be making a special appearance. Promotional materials had already been teasing the inclusion of The Illuminati, leading to speculation that an Iron Man variant could be featured. Of course, that sparked rumors that Robert Downey Jr. could be reprising the role as a variant of his MCU character. Simultaneously, there were rumors that Cruise could be playing the Iron Man variant in the film.
That’s not what happened, as Cruise is not in Doctor Strange 2. The film’s writer, Michael Waldron, recently revealed (via Rolling Stone) that the rumors were initially baloney, but hearing about the possibility did in fact have Waldron wanting to bring Cruise into the film. He had even questioned Kevin Feige about the potential cameo at one point.
“Yeah, that was totally made up. I mean, there’s no cut footage of Tom Cruise! But I love Tom Cruise, and I said to [Marvel Studios president] 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. As it was being talked about online, I was like, ‘Yeah, that’d be cool!'”
For better or for worse, the idea didn’t end up getting very far, but not because Cruise said no. As Waldron explains, the Mission: Impossible star had a pretty packed schedule as it was, which was compounded by COVID-19 (which Cruise clearly takes very seriously), so talks about the potential cameo really pretty much killed before they could even begin.
“I mean, he was shooting Mission Impossible 7 and 8. I don’t believe [anyone actually contacted Cruise]. I just don’t think it was ever an option, because of availability.”