Tom Cruise in a suit waiting through columns.

Mission: Impossible made Tom Cruise’s MCU debut an impossible mission.
Image: Paramount

Few Marvel movies have had as many rumors 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 rumored to be appearing. Now that the film is in theaters, We saw that some of that actually came true. The biggest rumor did not though, but there’s more to the story.

Arguably the biggest rumor 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 rumor, 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 realized 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 cameosand, 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.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TVand everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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