Tom Cruise could excel as Corsair in the MCU, a character tied to mutants and the cosmic side of Marvel.
Cruise is the perfect for Superior Iron Man, an evil version of Tony Stark.
Cruise could play a significant role as a hero or villain in the Multiverse Saga, showcasing his versatility.

Tom Cruise might not have played Iron Man; however, there are a few roles that could allow the actor to show the full scope of his talents in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Cruise has a history with Marvel despite never having played one of its characters. The actor was considered to play Tony Stark before 2008’s Iron Man, with Cruise not playing Iron Man because of a pay issue, as 20th Century Fox — the studio who held Iron Man’s film rights in 1998 — was not willing to pay his hefty salary for “an untested superhero property.”

In 2006, Robert Downey Jr. was officially cast as Iron Man, ending Tom Cruise’s chances of playing the hero in his solo movie.

Cruise was still among the actors who could have played the role in Marvel Studios’ Iron Man, though the role ultimately went to Robert Downey Jr., who was part of most of the best entries in the MCU as Tony Stark. Cruise was also heavily rumored to play an Iron Man variant thanks to the multiverse in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which did not end up happening. While the actor has yet to join the MCU, there are many different roles in Marvel’s slate of projects that are perfectly suited for Cruise.


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With a career spanning more than 40 years, Tom Cruise is one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. From comedies to action movies, the actor has done it all.

10 Corsair

The Character Is The Father Of A Major X-Men Member

While Cruise is often mentioned for major MCU roles, there could be a lot of fun to be had through the actor playing a smaller character who could let him truly cut loose. Among some possible future additions to the franchise is Corsair. The character is the father to none other than one of the X-Men’s most famous members — and the team’s field leader — Cyclops.

Corsair would be a fantastic addition to the MCU because he could connect with both the introduction of mutants to the franchise and help expand the MCU’s cosmic corner. The character is the leader of the Starjammers, a team of space pirates. Like Cruise’s Top Gun character, Maverick, Corsair is an ace pilot. The character is also adept at hand-to-hand fights, something Cruise has excelled in within a wide array of his action movie roles.

9 Silver Surfer

Tom Cruise Could Make The Character Compelling

Silver Surfer is rumored to show up in the MCU soon. While there have been few details revealed about the plot of Marvel’s The Fantastic Four, one of the main rumors surrounding the movie is that it will not feature Doctor Doom as its main villain, but rather Galactus. If that is true, then the Silver Surfer’s appearance is a strong possibility, as he is the most famous herald of Galactus.

Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer, is a character with an extremely tragic backstory. The character’s story is one of loss, with both his mother and father having killed themselves for different reasons. In exchange for Galactus sparing his home world, Norrin Radd agreed to become his herald and was transformed into the Silver Surfer. Cruise has the dramatic chops to bring such a heartbreaking story to life on the big screen.

8 Nova

The Actor Might Have To Compete With Another Major Star

Different from most of the characters on the list, a Nova project is in development for the MCU. Nova will get to star in his own series if the project moves forward, though the slowdown of the MCU might mean that a definitive answer to that is still some time away. While confirming that Nova is in development, Marvel Studios’ Head of Television, Streaming, and Animation, Brad Winderbaum teased which version of the hero will appear, saying, “I love Rich Rider, too.”

Ryan Gosling is heavily rumored to be the MCU’s pick to play Nova.

Cruise would be a great pick for an older Richard Rider in the MCU. As there is a younger version of Nova in the comics — Sam Alexander — there is a chance that the MCU will move forward with both iterations of the hero at the same time. Cruise could then play the charming, confident leader that is Richard Rider, while a younger actor plays Sam.


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7 The Beyonder

Kang The Conqueror Could Be Replaced In The MCU

With Jonathan Majors fired from the MCU as Kang the Conqueror, the Multiverse Saga does not currently have a main villain. Some options of characters who could replace Kang have been thrown around. Doctor Doom was even rumored to have been on Marvel’s radar to replace Kang after Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania underperformed. However, another Marvel Comics villain could be perfect both as a replacement for Kang and as the ideal role for Cruise to join the MCU.

As one of the most popular movie stars ever, Cruise is likely to have a major role in the franchise if he ever joins the MCU. The Beyonder could be that part, as Cruise could become integral to the Multiverse Saga while not having to sign on for several projects. The character could be the main villain of Avengers: Secret Wars, with his unpredictable nature being something Cruise has shown in previous roles that he is able to bring to life perfectly.

6 Multiple Man

The Actor Would Be Perfect To Play Multiple Versions Of The Same Character

Jamie Madrox, aka Multiple Man, would be one of the most exciting roles Cruise could play in the MCU. While the character is not one of the most popular mutants from Marvel Comics, Multiple Man has the potential to be a fan-favorite character in live-action. As his name states, Multiple Man can create several duplicates of himself.

While the duplicates look exactly like him, each version of Multiple Man is their own person in a way, having their individual thoughts, feelings, and more. Every new duplicate of Madrox also normally follows one aspect of the original character’s personality, heightening different parts of Madrox. Cruise could have a great time in the role, which would allow him to play multiple MCU characters within just one mutant. This way, he could serve as a hero or a villain, depending on which version of Multiple Man is in play.

5 Magneto

The Actor Can Make The Villain A Sympathetic Foe

While Cruise is normally known to play heroic roles, such as Ethan Hunt in the Mission Impossible franchise or Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the Top Gun movies, the actor has great potential for villain roles. Through projects like Interview with the Vampire and Collateral, Cruise showed that he has an intensity within him to play magnetic evil characters on the big screen.

That particular set of skills allied to Cruise’s long career as a bona fide hero makes him a compelling choice to give life to Magneto in the MCU. Magneto comes from a tragic backstory that serves to inform how he will never let the mutants suffer from what he went through during the Holocaust. Cruise could excel at the tenuous line the character threads between a villain and an anti-hero at times, making Magneto one of the MCU’s most complex characters.

4 Doctor Doom

Tom Cruise Is Extremely Skilled In A Must-Have Aspect For The Character

Doctor Doom is one of the MCU’s most anticipated characters. The villain could potentially even take Kang the Conqueror’s place and become the main threat of the Multiverse Saga now that Jonathan Majors has been fired by Marvel. Given Doom’s prominent role in different versions of the story that will be adapted in Avengers: Secret Wars, the character’s MCU debut should be watched closely, as he could become a foe to all heroes sooner rather than later.

With Marvel’s The Fantastic Four set to arrive in 2025, Doctor Doom should join the MCU next year. As the team’s most famous villain and the one who has appeared in all movies for the Fantastic Four, it is hard to imagine Victor von Doom not having at least a cameo. Cruise’s experience with intelligent, dark characters and ability to convey emotion with his body language is perfect for the masked villain.

3 Norman Osborn

The Actor Could Play Both Sides Of The Character

Norman Osborn is one of the most popular villains in Marvel Comics. Thanks to Willem Dafoe’s genius performances as Norman and his Green Goblin side, the character has also become one of the best live-action villains Marvel has ever had, both in the MCU and not. While Dafoe appeared as his version of Osborn in a major way in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the character hailed from the universe of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man.

The MCU has yet to cast actors for its versions of Harry and Norman Osborn. Cruise could excel in the role, with the actor being able to play both the suave businessman and his deranged alter ego with ease. If Marvel Studios ever uses Norman Osborn again, he could be turned into his Iron Patriot hero persona from the comics to differentiate the MCU’s Osborn from Dafoe, and Cruise would also be a great fit for a heroic Norman Osborn, as his career shows.

2 Mister Sinister

The Character Is On Marvel Studios’ Radar

Magneto, Apocalypse, and other recognizable X-Men villains have already appeared in the team’s live-action movies. With the MCU set to debut its version of the beloved mutants from Marvel Comics in the future, it would make sense for the shared universe to focus on villains who have not yet had their time to shine in live-action. Based on that, Mister Terrific could have his time to shine in the MCU.

Cruise would excel as the character who is unabashedly evil and delights in his nefarious actions. The actor could really cut loose as Mister Sinister in a way that his heroic roles have not really let him. Marvel Studios has Mister Sinister on its radar, as the villain recently showed up in a major way in the first project for the X-Men produced by Marvel Studios — but not part of the MCU — the animated X-Men ’97.


Marvel Just Proved How Incredible An X-Men Villain Can Be In The MCU 38 Years After His Debut

Marvel Studios’ X-Men ’97 is an incredibly dynamic test bed that’s helping to prove just how great one of their villains would be for the MCU.

1 Superior Iron Man

Tom Cruise Would Still Be Great As Tony Stark

Finally, the best character Cruise could play in the MCU is a variant of RDJ’s Tony Stark, with Cruise being perfect for Superior Iron Man. The character would allow Cruise to come full circle after the actor almost played the MCU hero long ago. Superior Iron Man is also the specific variant of the character that Cruise was rumored to play in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness but never did. Cruise playing the Tony Stark variant would finally make good on the potential he has for Superior Iron Man.

In the comics, that version of Tony Stark is not a hero like the main version of the character. Superior Iron Man is a villain who was created during the “Axis” event in the comics, which switched the character’s morality from good to evil, allowing him to pretend to be a hero before showing himself as a major villain. Tom Cruise‘s Superior Iron Man would retain the best parts of RDJ’s and add that intensity the actor is known for to become an MCU villain for the ages.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a multimedia superhero franchise that began in 2008 with Paramount’s Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr. The franchise quickly grew in popularity, with Disney eventually buying out Marvel Entertainment in 2009. The MCU consists of dozens of movies and TV shows, most notably Avengers: Endgame, WandaVision, and Loki.

Key Release Dates

Deadpool & Wolverine

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Blade (2025)

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

“}]] Tom Cruise has yet to enter the MCU.  Read More