Tom Cruise Was Suggested to Play Iron Man in 'Doctor Strange 2' After Fan Theories, Writer Says

"As it was being talked about online, I was like, 'Yeah, that'd be cool!' " said Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness screenwriter Michael Waldron

Tom Cruise; Robert Downey Jr
Photo: Carlos Tischler / Eyepix Group/Future Publishing via Getty Images; Marvel/Walt Disney Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

Tom Cruise almost suited up as Iron Man.

The Top Gun: Maverick actor, 59, was at one point pitched to play a variant of Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, screenwriter Michael Waldron revealed to Rolling Stone. The new Marvel movie explores alternate realities with vastly different versions of the Avengers than audiences have come to know (plus some surprise cameos along the way).

Cruise became an internet rumor as fans suspected he'd appear as the character made famous by Robert Downey Jr., who first played the superhero in 2008's Iron Man, which kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Waldron, however, tried to make the fan theory come to fruition.

"Yeah, that was totally made up. I mean, there's no cut footage of Tom Cruise," he said of the online rumors. "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."

He added, "As it was being talked about online, I was like, 'Yeah, that'd be cool!'

(L-R): Rachel McAdams as Dr. Christine Palmer, Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange, and Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in Marvel Studios' DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS.
Courtesy Marvel Studios

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Waldron clarified that he doesn't believe Cruise was ever reached out to, likely because it seemed too far out of reach to pull off given the Mission: Impossible star's busy schedule: "I just don't think it was ever an option, because of availability."

Back in 2005, Cruise told IGN about being approached to play Iron Man for the MCU at the time (the first Iron Man came out in 2008) and why it didn't pan out. "They came to me at a certain point and, when I do something, I wanna do it right. If I commit to something, it has to be done in a way that I know it's gonna be something special. And as it was lining up, it just didn't feel to me like it was gonna work. I need to be able to make decisions and make the film as great as it can be, and it just didn't go down that road that way."

Directed by Sam Raimi, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong and Xochitl Gomez.

The film earned $185 million at the domestic box office during its opening weekend, according to Variety, making it the biggest debut of a movie so far this year, beating out Robert Pattinson's The Batman, which opened to $134 million.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now in theaters.

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