James Gunn’s DC Universe: 10 Electrifying Roles Tom Cruise Could Dominate

Tom Cruise praised DC’s The Flash, and as one of the most sought-after movie stars, the actor could bring to life some amazing characters in the DCU.

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick with the Green Lantern Hal Jordan and the Reverse-Flash from DC Comics at each side

Tom Cruise has yet to join a superhero franchise, and the actor could do so by becoming part of James Gunn’s DC Universe, with Cruise’s talents fitting some exciting DC characters. Cruise has become one of the most interesting movie stars to watch, with the actor consistently delivering crowd-pleasing movies that also score well with critics. Some movies helped define Cruise’s career, with his action role in the Mission Impossible franchise as Ethan Hunt being his most popular character.

Throughout seven Mission Impossible movies so far, Cruise has shown that he has a knack for stunts like few actors. At DC, the star could deliver some of the most complex and impactful action sequences superhero movies have ever seen. Further tying Cruise to DC is the fact that he was one of the people who watched 2023’s The Flash before its release and sang heavy praise for the film. Cruise also signed a deal to produce and star in original and franchise movies for Warner Bros., making his debut in future DC movies possible.

10. The Human Target

The Actor Would Be Great For A Noir Story

Justice League International in The Human Target comics

James Gunn has assembled an all-star roster of writers to help him craft the DCU. Among them is DC Comics’ Tom King, who Gunn revealed was one of the first people who read his script for the Superman reboot movie and has praised several of his comics at DC. King and artist Greg Smallwood created the perfect DC limited series for Cruise to star in the DCU.

Cruise would be a solid choice to take on the role of Christopher Chance, aka the Human Target. The character can disguise himself as anybody he signs on to serve as a bodyguard — using realistic masks like Cruise’s Ethan Hunt does in the Mission Impossible movies — putting himself in danger to protect his clients. DC Comics’ “The Human Target” followed Chance as a PI unraveling the mystery of his own murder, and the noir story would fit Cruise’s nuanced acting style, evoking his early career work.

9. The Flash (Jay Garrick)

Cruise Would Be A Great Mentor To Other Heroes

Jay Garrick DC Comics

Another hero Cruise could be great as is Jay Garrick, the original bearer of the Flash mantle. Cruise already has a connection to the speedster through his praise for Ezra Miller’s The Flash movie, which means the actor could be inclined to take on a role within that side of the franchise. Cruise’s running in his movies has also become a popular trait of his, so having him play a version of the Flash in the DCU would be a fun bit of casting in that way.

More importantly, Cruise has the skills to be one of the best mentors in the DCU. In Top Gun: Maverick, Cruise excelled as a famous action hero who was now in charge of training the next generation. Cruise’s Jay Garrick could follow that same line, helping Barry Allen, Wally West, and any other possible Flashes to reach top form thanks to his years of expertise.

8. Green Lantern (Alan Scott)

The Role Could Make A Long-Time Fan Request Come True

Comic book art: Alan Scott as Green Lantern holding his lantern.

Cruise could also be an interesting pick for another original bearer of an iconic DC hero title — the Green Lantern Alan Scott. While Cruise has never been part of a superhero franchise, he has often been fancast in Marvel and DC roles. His most popular DC fan casting has been as Green Lantern, and given the actor’s age, the 61-year-old Cruise might be able to make that dream from fans come true as the veteran version of Green Lantern.

With Nathan Fillion playing Guy Gardner in Superman and Hal Jordan & John Stewart confirmed for DC’s Lanterns series, it could be possible for Alan Scott to be included in the franchise. Cruise would be a big name to be part of the DCU’s Justice Society of America, helping give the universe another major team other than the Justice League.

7. The Question

The Actor Has The Right Energy For The Role

The Question Cover Vic Sage

Tom Cruise has the kind of hand-to-hand fighting experience and talent in darker roles that would make him perfect to take on a street-level vigilante in the DCU. That character could be Vic Sage, aka The Question. It would be interesting to see Cruise truly lose himself in the role, as The Question’s signature mask would make it so the actor’s face would not be on-screen as much as one would imagine DC would want it to be.

Still, The Question would be a fitting role for Cruise. Vic Sage has become known as a paranoid character, always doubting others and what is happening. Cruise has the kind of manic energy in some of his roles that would be perfect for The Question. Cruise’s version of the character could be intriguing, creepy, and cool, all at the same time.

6. John Constantine

The Justice League Dark Could Finally Debut

Matt Ryan as John Constantine in The CW's Arrowverse

While DC is currently developing Keanu Reeves’ return as the Hellblazer in Constantine 2, there is plenty of space for both him and Cruise to play John Constantine. That is because Constantine 2 will not be part of the new DC Universe canon, with the project being developed as one of DC’s new Elseworlds movies. Keanu could have his own Constantine franchise, while Cruise would play the character in the DCU.

Cruise can play a snarky, smart, and cunning character like Constantine to perfection, with roles in movies like Interview with the Vampire giving a taste of what such a performance would be like. Fans have requested the live-action debut of the Justice League Dark for some time. With DC’s Swamp Thing movie confirmed, the team could be part of the DCU, and a high-profile name like Cruise as Constantine would elevate the team’s status.

5. Doctor Fate

The DCEU’s Version Was Great

Doctor Fate without his mask in Black Adam

While Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam was not the major DCEU event that the actor had promoted for years, the movie had some great casting. Black Adam‘s most exciting character was Pierce Brosnan’s Doctor Fate, with the Justice Society of America hero being extremely powerful, wise, and gentle. Sadly, Doctor Fate died in Black Adam, which likely would have ruled out a return from Brosnan in the role for a future project.

The new DC Universe could theoretically leave the death behind, bringing back Brosnan. However, only a handful of actors seem to be returning for the new universe. If Doctor Fate is in the DCU, then having a new actor of the same caliber as Brosnan would be the most likely move for the role. Cruise fulfills those prerequisites, with the actor’s charisma being a great fit for Kent Nelson.

4. Two-Face

Tom Cruise Could Be Set Loose As The Villain

Two-Face in a hospital bed in The Dark Knight

Tom Cruise has made a successful career out of playing heroic characters, such as Ethan Hunt in the Mission Impossible movies or Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the Top Gun franchise. However, that is not the full scope of the star’s acting skills. Cruise also has some magnetic and unsettling roles as villains in his filmography, with his character in Collateral showing that the actor would be a great fit for multiple DC foes.

One of those roles could be the Batman villain Two-Face. Cruise can easily play the charismatic Harvey Dent, who wants to use the law to clean up Gotham City. Adding to that, the actor could give life to a truly unpredictable Two-Face when Dent inevitably snaps. Cruise has the energy to make Two-Face one of the most frightening villains in the DCU, and having the actor appear in Batman movies would be a recipe for box office juggernauts.

3. Reverse-Flash

The Character Could Make Cruise A Major DCU Villain

Reverse-Flash in front of smoke in DC Comics

Another villain Cruise would be perfect for is the Flash’s nemesis — Reverse-Flash. As a fan of the DCEU’s The Flash movie, Cruise could be inclined to play the evil speedster if offered the part, with the actor having the skills to make Eobard Thawne a major threat. While Cruise’s Reverse-Flash could be the main foe of the DCU’s Flash Family, with the inclusion of Superman & Supergirl and the Bat-Family pointing to the Flash Family being likely, he could play a greater DCU role.

Director Zack Snyder revealed that his original DCEU plans included Reverse-Flash being the universe’s surprise main villain. The character is certainly one who is smart and powerful enough to pose a threat to all DCU heroes and the fabric of reality itself. Cruise could make that idea come true in the new DCU, with the big-name actor being perfect to serve as the DCU’s main villain.

2. Ozymandias

The DCU Could Use The Watchmen

Ozymandias (Matthew Goode) standing in front of TV screens in Watchmen

While not exactly part of the main DC canon, Watchmen is a property that has crossed over into the greater DC universe in the comics. “Doomsday Clock” from DC Comics brought together characters like Doctor Manhattan, Ozymandias, and Rorschach with DC icons such as Superman and Batman. After a popular movie and a critically acclaimed limited series, Watchmen could be brought back as part of the DCU by Gunn and team.

Doctor Manhattan is a character who would fit thematically with the DCU’s Chapter One, titled “Gods and Monsters,” and the reflections it sets up. Essentially playing god in Watchmen, Ozymandias would be another great DCU addition. Cruise would excel in the role, with the actor being able to make the character’s complex nature shine on the big screen, having fun with Adrian Veidt’s intellect and arrogance.

1. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)

Tom Cruise’s Perfect DCU Role

Hal Jordan with beard in recent DC Comic

Finally, the perfect DCU role for Cruise is the Green Lantern Hal Jordan. The only live-action version of the character so far comes from the criticized 2011 Green Lantern movie starring Ryan Reynolds. As the most popular version of the DC hero, Hal deserves more than that, and after the DCEU never used the character, the DCU has confirmed Hal Jordan will debut in the Lanterns series.

Cruise has been fancast as Hal Jordan for years, and it is easy to see why. The actor’s role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the Top Gun franchise is basically a tease of how perfect he would be as the Green Lantern. Cruise would excel as DC’s confident and charming test pilot-turned-Green Lantern. With the 53-year-old Nathan Fillion playing Guy Gardner — a Green Lantern younger than Hal Jordan — there is hope for Tom Cruise to play Hal in the DCU.

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