Few Marvel movies have had as many rumours surrounding them as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. At some point, in some corner of the internet, basically any Marvel character you can imagine was rumoured to be appearing. Now that the film is in theatres, we saw that some of that actually came true. The biggest rumour did not though, but there’s more to the story.
Arguably the biggest rumour surrounding the new film directed by Sam Raimi and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen was that Tom Cruise was going to appear as Iron Man. Now, obviously, this doesn’t make a ton of sense. Robert Downey Jr. played Iron Man and the character is dead now, right? But in a movie about infinite plains of existence, what does “sense” even mean? Anything is possible. Plus, blurry spy photos even circulated online that made fans sure that Cruise would be the new Tony Stark, at least in one multiverse.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron confirms that was never going to happen. But, when he heard the rumour, he liked it enough that he inquired about making it happen. “Yeah, that was totally made up. I mean, there’s no cut footage of Tom Cruise!” Waldron said. “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?’”
We don’t know what Feige said but very quickly the pair realised that even if they asked and he said “Yes,” Cruise was in the middle of shooting back-to-back mega-blockbusters of his own, the seventh and eighth Mission: Impossibles, and it would have been an impossible mission itself. “I don’t believe so,” Waldron said when asked if anyone ever reached out. “I just don’t think it was ever an option, because of availability.”
But Waldron, Feige, and Raimi did get lots of other cameos, and, later this week, we’ll have our interview with Waldron discussing those, multiverse incursions, Mordo, and more. Read more from Waldron now at Rolling Stone.
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Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.