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It’s likely to be one of the biggest cameos in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a pretty clever inside joke. Tom Cruise is rumored to be taking up the mantle of Iron Man in the upcoming Marvel movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

In a leaked blurry image purportedly from the film’s sets that has surfaced on social media, a man resembling Tom Cruise can be seen dressed in the motion capture suit. The image was posted by a Twitter account specializing in leaks and pop culture news, with the caption: “(Rumor) Possibly the first image of Tom Cruise on set #DoctorStrange2 in (Motion Capture) for his Iron Man.”

While there is no confirmation as to whether the image is in fact from the Doctor Strange sets or if the man in question is in fact Tom Cruise, it has sparked rumours. There were already reports that since Multiverse of Madness deals with the concept of multiverse and variants (different versions of characters), fans might enjoy different actors playing their beloved characters.

This has already happened in the MCU when Spider-Man: No Way Home saw Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield return as their versions of Spider-Man. However, Tom Cruise has never played Iron Man, even though he came very close to landing the part twice.

Iron Man, also known as Tony Stark, was played by Robert Downey Jr in the MCU, from the first film in the franchise, Iron Man, in 2008 until the character’s death in Avengers Endgame (2019). Many have pointed to RDJ’s influence on the MCU and how the success of his films and fan appreciation was instrumental in shaping the franchise.

However, not many know that Tom Cruise was one of the names interested in taking on the role even before RDJ was cast. In 1998, in an interview with The Gazette, Tom said he was interested in “producing and starring in an Iron Man movie.”

Tom was among the actors considered for the role when Marvel Studios looked to cast Tony Stark nearly a decade later. In the end, Robert Downey Jr came into the picture after director Jon Favreau vouched for him.

Also read: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness merchandise teases new villains coming to the MCU

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness follows the incidents of Spider-Man: No Way Home with Doctor Strange trying to contain the fallout from his failed spell that fractured the multiverse. The trailer for the film has hinted that we will almost certainly see a variant of Doctor Strange and reports claim that other actors have also been hired to make cameo appearances.

Directed by Sam Raimi, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, and Xochitl Gomez. The film opens on May 4.

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