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The Real Reason Tom Cruise's Iron Man Wasn't In Doctor Strange 2

While top-tier cameo-killer Wanda Maximoff went to town on some of Marvel's most powerful figures in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" – including John Krasinski as Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic – there was one guest appearance she never broke a sweat for. As much as the internet was in a frenzy theorizing that Tom Cruise would step in as the Illuminati variant of Tony Stark, it wasn't meant to be. The new face of Stark Industries was absent from the film, no matter how many Ultron bots were on display.

In the lead-up to the film's release, many fans believed that the shot of a super-powered being squaring off against the Scarlet Witch was actually Superior Iron Man, a version of Tony that went a little power-crazed in the comics. Of course, by now, it's been confirmed that it was actually Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau, who in that universe became Captain Marvel. While some might be disappointed with the revelation, it seems that according to the film's writer, Michael Waldron, we really only have ourselves to blame.

Tom Cruise appearing in the MCU was totally made up by fans

Speaking to Rolling Stone following the film's release, Waldron revealed that Tom Cruise was on his wish list for potential cameos and even went as far as suggesting it to Marvel Studios head, Kevin Feige. However, it was something that never came to pass, even with the frame-by-frame examination that fans were determined teased the actor in the trailers. "Yeah, that was totally made up. I mean, there's no cut footage of Tom Cruise!" Waldron assured. "But I love Tom Cruise, and I said to Kevin at one point, I was like, 'could we get Tom Cruise's Iron Man?' I remember reading about that in Ain't It Cool News back in the day, that Tom Cruise was going to be Iron Man."

The link of Cruise to Marvel (even if not in this film) does hold some truth, as Waldron notes. Back in the 90s, the action man from "Mission: Impossible" was approached to take the role of Tony Stark when the first attempt at bringing "Iron Man" to the screen was being considered. It of course never came to pass, and we instead got the pitch-perfect casting of Robert Downey Jr. in the role instead, which clearly worked out pretty well in the end. 

Nevertheless, the fans still held out hope of seeing this fun twist onscreen, and in turn, so did Waldron, which is why he even attempted throwing the name to Feige. "As it was being talked about online, I was like, 'Yeah, that'd be cool!'"

Waldron confirms that Cruise was never called

Of course, Tom Cruise's calendar is pretty crammed what with him returning to the skies in "Top Gun: Maverick" this month, and steering any high-speed mode of transport he can get his hands on "Mission Impossible — Dead Reckoning" with parts one and two set for release in 2023 and 2024, respectively. As a result, when asked if Cruise was ever given a call, Waldron revealed that Feige and Marvel never made one. "I don't believe so. I just don't think it was ever an option, because of availability." 

It's a shame it never came to pass, but then there's a high chance it may have taken the spotlight away from a handful of other great appearances already in the movie. Also, let's face it — this is Tom Cruise, after all. He wouldn't sign anywhere unless he could actually fly in a functional iron suit while fighting a real Scarlet Witch. Maybe next time, folks.