According to one possible leak a few weeks ago, Tom Cruise could have played the villain in Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman 1984. The rumor says that talks broke down as soon as Cruise learned how involved the role would be. Gossip Cop looked into the story.
The report originally appeared in the National Enquirer under the headline, "Cruise Thinks He's Too Big To Be Bad!" The magazine found that Cruise was personally requested by Gadot herself to play the villain opposite of her in the superhero film. The only reason for his denial, industry insiders told the outlet, was the fact that "he wouldn't be the star" of the project. Conveniently enough, the source add that he wouldn't join the DC cinematic universe since he prided himself on being a "box office Superman" and thus deserved nothing less than first billing.
While the outlet acknowledges that Cruise is no stranger to non-starring roles, such as his work in Magnolia and Tropic Thunder, its sources said that he'd only join in on comic book superhero movies if he would be the superhero. "What mattered to him is Wonder Woman 1984 is Gal's project — not his," a snitch revealed. "But when and if he does this kind of movie, he knows he'll be running the show and the camera will be focused squarely on him and not on anyone else." The role of the villainous Maxwell Lord actually went to Pedro Pascal, the star of The Mandalorian with an extremely impressive rogue's gallery of roles in his filmography.
Gadot, on the other hand, was supposedly disappointed after hoping that their shared time on Knight and Day would convince Cruise to join. "It wasn't like it was a small part," an insider added. "As the villain, he was going to get camera time ... but Tom likes to be the hero." While it's unclear if the sources were saying that Cruise wanted more screen time or more creative control, they do address the other important person in this story. "He's sorry that Gal and director Patty Jenkins were disappointed, but that's his decision," the source concluded.
While we'd love to see Cruise play another villainous role like his brilliant work in Collateral, there's no way this tabloid storyline would've happened in the first place. Cruise was entirely occupied with his own projects at the time that the Gadot negotiations would have been happening. With three Mission: Impossible films and Top Gun: Maverick all taking place throughout 2017, 2018, and 2019, there's basically no time available for Cruise to have taken another role, let alone the secondary lead of an action-packed superhero flick. He's an efficient worker, don't get us wrong, but the chances of him giving up on one of his passion projects for a totally unrelated part are beyond low.
Besides, it's kind of weird to think of someone being a legitimate "Hollywood insider" and speaking in such an expository way — how many times have you said a phrase like "director Patty Jenkins" or "producer Ryan Reynolds"? It's just a bit too convenient for a source to speak in such a narratively helpful way. Then again, this is the same tabloid that's published plenty of bogus "industry insider" stories like its rumor about the production of a Princess Diana movie by Prince Harry.
We actually just reexamined another one of the Enquirer's past reports on Cruise that said he was looking to join Reese Witherspoon in a project. Of course, those "insiders" didn't mention Cruise's apparent dedication to leading roles only, but we've learned by now to not expect consistency from this infamous publication. While we can't know the truth about every single conversation that happens in Hollywood, we can at least dismiss the most outrageous pieces of gossip based on the facts.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.