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Is Tom Cruise about to join the Marvelverse as its new Iron Man?

The ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ star may be about to buzz Stark Tower

Jon Hornbuckle
Written by
Jon Hornbuckle

If you’re keeping track, the number of bona fide A-list actors who have not so far appeared in a Marvel movie is down to a small handful of doughty hold-outs. There’s DiCaprio, Clooney, Hanks and Will Smith and one or two others. 

And those numbers may dwindle still further with rumours that Tom Cruise is ‘in talks’ to join the 29-movie-strong franchise.

The Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible star was strongly tipped to cameo in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness earlier this year. The character is part of the Illuminati, a team of superheroes from another universe referenced in the latest Doctor Strange movie. 

It ended up comprising of Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell), Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch), Black Bolt (Anson Mount), and Mr Fantastic (John Krasinski), but a no-show for Cruise’s rumoured take on Iron Man – cue much disappointment from Marvel fans.  

But while that appearance never materialised, industry scuttlebutt has Cruise linked with the role of Superior Iron Man in an adaptation of ‘Secret Wars’, an epic comic-book series that makes Avengers: Endgame look like a low-budget indie.

Geekosity speculates that Marvel might have decided to hold back Cruise’s Doctor Strange cameo: ‘Tom Cruise might be Superior Iron Man, but not just a cameo role. He may return if he agrees to do another movie, which is Marvel’s Secret Wars.’

Photograph: Courtesy of Marvel StudiosTom Cruise was rumoured to be cameoing in ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’

The storyline of ‘Secret Wars’ sees superhero teams like the Avengers, Fantastic Four and the X-Men transported to a place known as Battleworld when two different realities collide. This cracks open the multiverse even wider, allowing villains and heroes alike to fight their multiverse counterparts.

Of course, Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man died during the battle against Thanos. A possible Secret Wars adaptation could position this Superior Iron Man as a tyrannical villain rather than an egotistical billionaire with expensive toys. 

Cruise passed on the role of Iron Man back in the pre-Downey days of 2004. Could he be tempted back? It’s all strictly speculatory at this point, and it’s surely no coincidence that the actor has built his career around tentpole movies that offer a degree of control he probably wouldn’t be afforded by Marvel. Put it this way, we’d be surprised to see him committing to a major role in the MCU.  

We may soon be disproved, though, with Marvel boss Kevin Feige set to announce a new slate of film and TV projects later this month at the San Diego Comic Con event.

Thor: Love and Thunder’s post-credits scenes explained, and what they mean for the MCU.

Tom Cruise’s biggest box-office movies ranked – as Top Gun: Maverick breaks new record. 

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