RDJ’s fan-favorite character kicked off the MCU in Iron Man (2008) and went on to appear in 11 total Marvel Cinematic Universe films — Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).
Over the course of more than a decade, Stark turned from a billionaire playboy into the husband of Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), the trusted confidante of Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), the mentor of Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), the sometimes-adversary of Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), and the fearless leader of Stark Industries.
He also sacrificed himself to save the world from Thanos (Josh Brolin) to end Marvel’s Infinity Saga in Endgame.
Rumors abound that Hollywood legend Tom Cruise (Top Gun, The Last Samurai, Jerry Maguire, Mission: Impossible) could be the next to wear the arc reactor as the Marvel Multiverse continues to expand in Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness (2022).
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Although the Risky Business actor himself has not spoken out about the possibility of joining the MCU, after turning down the role of Iron Man before Downey, Jr. was cast, new fan art takes the recent rumors to new heights, giving some idea of what Cruise could look like in Iron Man’s iconic armor.
Rahal Arts captioned the artwork [above]:
Heard some rumors that Tom cruise may appear as a Tony Stark variant in doctor strange multiverse of madness.
It would be really cool to see other variants of famous mcu characters.
Plus Tom Cruise was actually considered for the role of Iron Man before RDJ. So that’s what’s up.
It is important to remember that even if Iron Man is recast — with Cruise or anyone else now that RDJ has officially moved on to more Sherlock Holmes and other projects — it will not be the same version of the character who has previously appeared in the MCU.
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki blew the Multiverse wide open and Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) continued setting things up for a future with all sorts of hero and villain variants — the Multiverse, for instance, is how former “Spider-Men” Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire returned alongside Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Electro (Jamie Foxx), and Doctor Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina).
As a recent article about the potential Cruise casting noted:
As for variants of existing heroes, that is a list that could take a very long time to go through. Marvel Studios has gone to some length in the last year to make sure it is clear that there are numerous universes that mirror the MCU timeline, and each of those universes contains their own variants on the heroes and villains we all know.
You can watch the first official trailer for Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange 2, starring Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch), below:
What do you think? Would you like to see Tom Cruise in Kevin Feige’s MCU?