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Tom Cruise’s Iron Man Could Perfectly Honor RDJ’s Legacy

Tom Cruise's Iron Man Could Perfectly Honor RDJ's Legacy
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Tom Cruise’s Iron Man cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness would perfectly honor Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark legacy.

Of all the myriad cameos touted for Doctor Strange 2, Tom Cruise’s Iron Man appearance would perfectly honor Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark legacy. Set for a domestic May 6th, 2022 release, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness continue to expand on the MCU’s multiverse following the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. The almost endless possibilities opened up by the MCU’s multiverse has led to rife speculation regarding which characters will appear in Doctor Strange 2 outside of Wong (Benedict Wong), Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) himself.

One of the most popular rumors gleaned from the latest Multiverse of Madness trailer is the presence of Superior Iron Man, with the Marvel comics villain teased via a glowing goatee silhouette. Given Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man iteration famously perished snapping Thanos (Josh Brolin) out of existence in Avengers: Endgame, it is highly likely that any Superior Iron Man will be a multiverse variant. As first established in Lokivariants across the MCU’s myriad universes can look different, allowing Marvel Studios to recycle the beloved character of Iron Man in Doctor Strange 2 through the multiverse.

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In this way, Tom Cruise’s Iron Man can perfectly honor Robert Downey Jr.’s MCU legacy in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Cruise appearing as Iron Man as part of the Illuminati has long been on MCU fans’ wishlists, with Cruise close to both the Iron Man role and Robert Downey Jr. at various points in his career. Here’s how Tom Cruise can perfectly honor Downey Jr.’s Iron Man legacy in Doctor Strange 2as well as why MCU fans want Cruise to play a Tony Stark variant.

Why MCU Fans Think Tom Cruise Will Replace Robert Downey Jr. As Iron Man

Tom Cruise as Iron Man

Due to its multiverse-centric narrative, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness represents the perfect opportunity to explore alternative scenarios in the MCU with little to no effect on the Sacred Timeline that Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man is so prevalent in. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ latest trailer looks to be setting up the introduction of Marvel’s Illuminati, in which the Avenger is an original, albeit evil member known as Superior Iron Man. Any Iron Man variant used to portray this Superior version needs to be aesthetically different from Downey Jr.’s iconic character to avoid confusion, leading to calls for Tom Cruise to step into the nanotech suit.


MCU fans have chosen Cruise to replace Downey Jr. since the Impossible mission star was Marvel Studios’ favorite to play Tony Stark in Jon Favreau’s Iron Man. In the late 2000s, Cruise was by far the most bankable star for Marvel at the time, with Downey Jr. embroiled in a series of personal scandals and substance abuse issues that made the studio wary about hiring him. As a result, Cruise was given the first refusal for the Iron Man part, with Cruise turning the part down due to creative differences with Marvel Studios. This left Favreau free once again to pursue his first choice for Tony Stark, Downey Jr., with The Mandalorian creator Adamant Downey Jr. could connect so effortlessly with Iron Man’s characterization due to both of their personal redemption arcs being eerily similar.


Although Cruise passed on the role of Iron Man in 2007, the idea of ​​the Hollywood star giving Iron Man’s suit has never quite left the MCU fandom’s collective consciousness. Tea Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer has reignited this long-dormant”what if” scenario, with several fan art renderings superimposing Cruise’s likeness on the MCU’s Iron Man. Since Marvel Studios have a clear penchant for fan service, as evidenced by Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness offers the perfect opportunity to explore what could have come to pass if Cruise was Iron Man – a fact not lost on MCU fans in the build-up to Doctor Strange 2.


Related: Doctor Strange 2 Theory: Kang Inspired The MCU Illuminati

Tom Cruise & Robert Downey Jr.’s Competition For Roles Over The Years

Tom Cruise Robert Downey Jr Iron Man

Aside from their competition for the role of Iron Man in the late 2000s, Cruise and Downey Jr. have enjoyed an amicable rivalry for other parts over the years. Robert Downey Jr was considered to play the role of Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun before Cruise made the role his own in 1986 – with Tony Scott’s film acting a springboard for Cruise’s continued success. More recently, Downey Jr. also revealed that Cruise was the first choice to play Charlie Chaplin in director Richard Attenborough’s Chaplin. In this instance, the part went to Downey Jr., who received his first Academy Award nomination for the film in 1992.


Why Tom Cruise As Iron Man Honors Downey Jr.’s Legacy

Doctor strange 2 why fans think Tom Cruise is replacing Robert Downey Jr as Iron man

Although on the surface Cruise and Downey Jr. share a rivalry for acting roles, Cruise as Iron Man still honors Downey Jr.’s MCU legacy. Cruise as Iron Man is perhaps the only casting choice that could actually do justice to Downey Jr.’s legacy in 2022, with the sherlock holmes star playing a massive role in building the character of Tony Stark from comic book favorite to an instantly recognizable franchise icon across ten MCU installments. In this way, Cruise stepping in to play Iron Man is a testament to how big of a character Iron Man is in contemporary culture, with Cruise one of the few actors whose pedigree and enduring talent still rival Downey Jr.’s.

It must also be stated that Tom Cruise as Superior Iron Man would not be a replacement for Downey Jr.’s version, but rather a malicious Iron Man variant thoroughly differentiated from the Avengers character. As a result, Cruise’s Iron Man would act as a foil for Downey Jr.’s heartfelt portrayal rather than attempting to emulate the character on which the bulk of the MCU’s first three phases’ success has been built upon. In this way, Tom Cruise’s long-touted Iron Man portrayal would perfectly honor Robert Downey Jr.’s character legacy in Doctor Strange 2.

Next: Doctor Strange Variants Are Key To Him Fulfilling The Ancient One’s Prophecy


  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023

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