A new image circulating on social media sites supposedly to be from the set of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has left the MCU fandom divided. It is blurry and low resolution but many believe it shows Tom Cruise in a motion capture and that he is essaying an alternate reality version of Tony Stark.

The person in the image does resemble Cruise and sports a beard that is consistent with Tony Stark of both comics and films. But it could just be fake too, a creation from scratch.

Not everybody is convinced. One user wrote, “It doesnt match the suits they wore on set. Also the lighting on his face doesnt match his body.”

One other said that they do not want to see anybody else in the Iron Man suit, not even Cruise. “I know I’m late to the panic but don’t you ever show us tom cruise playing iron man I’d rather not see Tony Stark ever again,” the tweet read.

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While the image might indeed be bogus, we have seen in the recent past that even blurry looking leaked pictures purporting to be from the movie may end up revealing the truth.

As the title suggests, the Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer Multiverse of Madness, of course, deals with the Multiverse and, at the least, includes a darker, more evil version of Doctor Strange, Strange Supreme, similar to the one we saw in MCU animated series What If…?.

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So technically, there could be another Tony Stark. Spider-Man: No Way Home, the most recent MCU film, also had two other Spideys (played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield) crossing over to MCU. And interestingly, Cruise was approached to essay Tony Stark before Robert Downey Jr. But he passed the opportunity he didn’t think ‘it would work’.

In 2005, he told IGN, “It’s not happening. Not with me, no … They came to me at a certain point and, when I do something, I wanna do it right. If I commit to something, it has to be done in a way that I know it’s gonna be something special. And as it was lining up, it just didn’t feel to me like it was gonna work. I need to be able to make decisions and make the film as great as it can be, and it just didn’t go down that road that way.”

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if Cruise is indeed essaying Tony Stark, even for a cameo, would be a great wink to the casting that did not happen. The artists among Marvel fans have often used their imagination to put on paper how Cruise would have looked in the role. Perhaps, in a parallel universe, Cruise did become Iron Man, but the Mission: Impossible franchise is likely languishing and ended after 2 or 3 films.

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