The theory that Tom Cruise is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) kicked into high gear after a new trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness dropped during Super Bowl LVI on Sunday.
Fans speculated the Mission Impossible actor could make a secret cameo in the movie as Superior Iron Man–the evil version of Tony Stark, following the events of Axis from Marvel Comics.
Here's the trailer.
The idea of Cruise portraying Superior Iron Man wouldn't be much of a stretch given the context of the Doctor Strange sequel, which is to feature characters from alternate universes–including an evil Doctor Strange.
A mysterious airborne figure seen briefly in the trailer attacking Scarlet Witch was theorized to be either of two characters–Brie Larson's Captain Marvel or Cruise as Superior Iron Man.
While it is plausible Cruise could play an alternate version of Tony Stark–given the fact he was supposedly considered for the role prior to Downey Jr. landing the job–many keen Marvel aficionados identified the flying figure from the trailer as Maria Rambeau’s Captain Marvel, played by actress Lashana Lynch.
Nevertheless, others saw what they wanted to see and were convinced of the surprise stunt casting with Cruise in a supporting role.
Is this as fake as Cruise's deepfake videos?
While rumors circulated Cruise was close to nabbing the role as Iron Man, the three-time Oscar nominee confirmed with ComicBook in 2018 that was not the case.
"Not close," Cruise said while promoting Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
"Not close, and I love Robert Downey Jr. I can't imagine anyone else in that role, and I think it's perfect for him."
Are Disney and Marvel unsuccessfully attempting to hide something from us?
Despite leaked onset photos, the studios denied earlier rumors that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were making cameos in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
We all know how that turned out. So it's unsurprising Marvel diehards are scratching their heads over rumors of Cruise making an appearance as the villainous Iron Man.
Moviegoers may have to wait until May 6, 2022, to join the multiverse and find out if Cruise is, indeed, now part of the MCU.