Tom Cruise Speaks Out on Playing Tony Stark In the MCU

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Tom Cruise as Iron Man

Credit: Stryder HD, YouTube

Tom Cruise finally addresses the rumors!

Tom Cruise riding a motorcycle
Credit: Paramount Pictures

It’s undeniable that Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is a pillar of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The entire franchise kicked off with his solo film Iron Man (2008), and audiences would continue to see him throughout the franchise until his death in Avengers: Endgame (2019). Though he’d always been heroic, that final sacrifice showed just how much the character had grown over the past decade, and it was hard to see him go. Naturally, fans thought it couldn’t be the end!

RDJ as Iron Man using the Infinity Stones to snap Thanos out of existence.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: ‘Iron Man 4’ “Trailer” Stuns as Tom Cruise Takes Over as Tony Stark

After all, Marvel Studios has been famous for the fake-out death. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has died and been brought back to life so many times he needs an afterlife punchcard, coming back even after being definitively killed by Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Though Loki (Hiddleston) is the most recognizable for faking his death, he certainly isn’t the only one. It’s almost a Marvel tradition in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Credit: Marvel Studios

Phil Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) death was used in The Avengers (2012) to unite the disparate team, but he didn’t stay long, and audiences soon saw him back again in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) even famously faked his death in tremendous fashion in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). Though this one makes the most sense, using it as cover to eliminate himself as a threat to Hydra, it still proved to undercut what could have been a meaningful sacrifice.

Nick Fury
Credit: Marvel Studios

With this long list of fake deaths, and even more not mentioned here, it would only stand to reason that fans would hypothesize that Iron Man (Downey Jr.) might not really be dead. Shortly after EndgameLoki and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) opened the doors to The Multiverse and showed variants of popular characters played by other actors…could Marvel be setting up the return of one such character played by another actor? Fuel was only added to the fire when John Krasinski showed up as Reed Richards in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), proving fan casting was possible!

john krasinski as reed richards
Credit: Marvel Studios

Add on top of that a very convincing “deepfake” trailer featuring Tom Cruise as Iron Man, and it was the perfect storm for rumor and speculation. Some were even convinced that they saw Cruise in various trailers or photos for other Marvel content, and now, it has finally caught up with the star. In a video shared by Phase Zero, Cruise finally addressed those casting rumors:

This may well put the final nail in the coffin of fans’ hopes for Cruise taking up the Iron Mantle, as it were. In one fell swoop, Cruise dispelled the rumors that he had ever been considered for the role while paying great tribute to Robert Downey Jr. and saying that he personally couldn’t see anyone else filling that role besides Downey Jr.

robert downey jr as tony stark iron man marvel
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Sebastian Stan to Become Marvel’s New “Iron Man”

That being said, Cruise did go on to explain what it takes for him to join a film, explaining that it comes down to character and audience desire. Though it might be a stretch, this would not rule out a role for Tom Cruise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe sometime in the future, but probably not Iron Man. As the saying goes, never say never, but if not Iron Man, then who could Tom Cruise play?

What role could you see Tom Cruise playing in the MCU? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!

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