The ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Trailer Has Convinced Some Marvel Fans That Tom Cruise Is Joining The MCU

Benedict Cumberbatch’s big week began with his first Oscar nomination (for Jane Campion’s exquisite The Power of the Dog) and ended with the trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premiering during the Super Bowl. I also had a good week: I ate a sandwich on Thursday. Not a great sandwich, but a good one. Good enough. Anyway, Cumberbatch isn’t the only Oscar-nominated performer in the Sam Raimi-directed Marvel film: there’s also Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Tom Cruise.

Wait, where is Tom Cruise in the trailer? Well, Marvel fans seem to think the actor — who’s been nominated for three Oscars, Best Actor for Born on the Fourth of July and Jerry Maguire, and Best Supporting Actor for Magnolia — is playing Superior Iron Man, a villainous Iron Man. To paraphrase his Magnolia character T.J. Mackey, in this life, it’s not what you hope for, it’s not what you deserve. It’s what you speculate on Twitter.

If Cruise, like Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool, is actually in Doctor Strange 2 (the alleged set photos across the Internet look like fakes), it would be a full circle moment. He was reportedly in the running to play Iron Man before Robert Downey Jr. got the gig, although as he told Comic Book in 2018, he was “not close” to being offered the role, “and I love Robert Downey Jr. I can’t imagine anyone else in that role, and I think it’s perfect for him.” Respect the RDJ.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens on May 6.