Doctor Strange 2: who are the Illuminati and why Tom Cruise could play Iron Man?

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness seems to bring this secretive group born in the comics to life on the big screen. But who is part of it and what is Tom Cruise doing in this case? Explanations.

With its new trailer unveiled during the Super Bowl, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has Marvel fans’ brains racing. There are about 3,000 theories to be drawn from this well-packed trailer, but one of them comes up endlessly on social networks: Tom Cruise could be playing an alternate version of Iron Man. The rumor dates back to last January, when the very unreliable site We Got This Covered assured to know that the director Sam Raimi and the production had benefited from the reshoots of Doctor Strange 2 to add a maximum of cameos in the film. Crazy idea? Absurd speculation? Not that much.

Already because the new trailer reveals the presence of Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier (we hear his voice very clearly and a piece of his bald head is shown). In the scene in question, Strange is handcuffed and escorted by an army of Ultron-like robots into an empty room with six thrones. Charles Xavier appears to be on one of them, so there are five left and there is no clear shot of who is sitting there.

In any case, it is an obvious reference to the Illuminati, a secret comic book group revealed in New Avengers #7, published in July 2015. At the time, it was a small earthquake on the scale of Marvel publications: we learned that the Illuminati had been collaborating in the shadows for decades to make the most important decisions regarding to the future of the world (and even of the universe). In 2016, before Infinity Warthe boss of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, was already teasing an adaptation: “ What’s fun about the Illuminati is seeing certain characters interact with others. I’m not aware of the exact plot, but we’ll see some of these characters together in the next one. avengers. »

In the comics, the hidden superhero think tank is made up of Professor Xavier, Mr Fantastic, Namor (the Marvel counterpart of Aquaman), Black Arrow (king of the Inhumans, mutant people who live on the Moon) , Doctor Strange and Iron Man. This is where Tom Cruise potentially enters the scene: we know that the actor of Impossible mission met Marvel Studios at the time of the first Ironman, and that he was considered for the role before Robert Downey Jr. won (Cruise assures that he did not wish to follow up, because he did not particularly believe in the quality of the film). Seeing him embody the character for a cameo does not seem particularly far-fetched – few stars seem to resist Marvel’s call and its maxi checkbook – and some even think they recognize him outright on a plan of the tape -announcement :

Whatever happens, the multiverse allows almost all the crazy scenarios, and the arrival of the Illuminati in the MCU could generate many stories, even rewrite part of the past by placing yourself from behind the scenes. And the opportunity would be perfect for Marvel Studios to introduce its own version of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. If Mr Fantastic/Reed Richards is indeed present within the Illuminati, his “family” must therefore also exist in this alternate reality. It remains to be seen whether the studio will take advantage of this golden opportunity, or prefer to present the Fantastic Four in a dedicated film. Things look more complicated for Namor, whose rights are shared with Universal Pictures. But Black Arrow has already made an appearance in the TV series Inhumans, which no longer appears to be part of the continuity. A movie Thes Inhumans had also been announced in 2014, but Marvel Studios finally quietly canceled the project. And if Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was the central pillar of the future of the MCU? Answer on May 4 at the cinema.

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