Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was even a twinkle in Kevin Feige’s eye, there had been numerous attempts at bringing Iron Man to the big screen as the rights bounced around various studios. Universal tried as early as 1990 with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids director Stuart Gordon attached, while Quentin Tarantino was approached in 1999 when the project was set up at Fox.
The Notebook‘s Nick Cassavetes then signed on in 2004 under New Line Cinema, before things fell apart once more and the rights landed in the hands of upstart production company Marvel Studios in 2005. Following that, Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. delivered one of the most important and influential blockbusters ever made, one which served as the launchpad for what would quickly become the most lucrative and popular franchise that Hollywood had ever seen.
Of course, RDJ bowed out as Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame, but speculation about his return started almost as soon as the credits had faded to black. When and where he’ll ultimately make his comeback remains to be seen, but it seems very likely we haven’t seen the last of him.
For now, though, it’s beginning to sound like Feige views Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as the ideal opportunity to freshen up the MCU and is considering bringing in a new actor to star as the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. Albeit, an alternate version from a different timeline.
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According to trusted insider Daniel Richtman, Marvel wants Tom Cruise to play the multiverse’s Tony Stark, which would be both fitting and meta casting after the Mission: Impossible star was linked with the role as far back as 1998. As the tipster explains:
“They are considering a bunch of interesting cameos for Strange to play different versions of character we know. One example I heard of they are considering is Tom Cruise as Tony Stark from another Earth (at one point Cruise almost got the role of Stark before RDJ)”
While there’s a chance it might not happen, of course, especially as the fans could reject somebody else playing the face of the entire franchise, as far as replacements for Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man go, there are certainly plenty of worse options out there than Tom Cruise. Besides, it seems this would only be a cameo and not something that lasts very long.
In any case, now we just need to wait and see if the Hollywood mega star is open to the idea. Though with the amount of money Marvel would no doubt throw his way to get him on board, we imagine he’d at least be willing to consider it.