Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness gives audiences a look into the current state of the MCU but also sets up future movies for the always expanding franchise. The Doctor Strange sequel lays the ground-work for some movies that have previously been announced and leaves room for speculation about spinoffs for other characters as well. The continuing forays into the multiverse opens up an infinite amount of possibilities for exploration in Marvel movies but the exciting cameos in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness point to the more immediate future.
The movie introduces several comic-book characters into the MCU by allowing Benedict Cumberbatch’s titular doctor turned cosmic magician to travel through the multiverse. The introduction of America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) makes this travel possible through her extraordinary powers, of which she is not fully in control. While new or alternative versions of characters do receive a substantial amount of screen time, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness finds its conflict in the familiar character Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). She has fully embraced the persona of the Scarlet Witch and wants to take America’s power so that she can reunite with her children, Billy and Tommy (Julian Hilliard and Jett Klyne), in one of the universes where they exist.
The Doctor Strange sequel is interesting as a stand-alone feature by taking Wanda’s grief to its extreme conclusion as well as by exploring the impact Doctor Strange’s actions in Avengers: Infinity War have had on him and the way others see him. It also hints heavily toward the MCUs future projects in a way that simultaneously stirs excitement for movies already announced and invites speculation about other potential stories the studio could adapt from the comics. Here are the eight movies that are set up by Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Although a Young Avengers movie has not yet been announced, the introduction of many younger-skewing heroes in the MCUs Phase 4 points to the possibility of a big team-up in the near future. America Chavez’s debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is another major clue towards this, following the appearances of Billy and Tommy in both WandaVision and this movie. In the former, Wanda’s children were shown to have their own powers, and in the comics they grow up to become the young superheroes Speed and Wiccan. Hawkeye‘s Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) is also a member of the Young Avengers in the comic, so America’s entry to the MCU logically seems to point to a continuing build-up of a younger team of superheroes in the MCU. America was only just beginning to understand her powers by the end of the Doctor Strange sequel so there is plenty to explore with her character in future films.
A Fantastic Four movie has been confirmed to be in development at Marvel Studios to be part of the MCU, though production will be hindered by the recent loss of Jon Watts as director. But even as Marvel searches for a new director to helm the project, the Doctor Strange 2 rumors regarding John Krasinski’s cameo as Mr. Fantastic have now been proven to be correct — he appears as a member of the Illuminati in the Earth-838 universe. While it still isn’t known if Krasinski will reprise the role in the announced Fantastic Four project, the use of Reed Richards in the multiverse spanning movie shows that the MCU is excited to bring back the famous superhero family in a new form.
Another character that Doctor Strange encounters on Earth-838 is an alternate version of Captain Marvel — in that universe, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) has the cosmic powers that Carol Danvers has in the MCU’s main 616 universe. Although it seems unlikely that the MCU will make a movie centered around Rambeau’s version of the hero, her appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was a reminder that the Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels, is scheduled for 2023. Rambeau was revealed to have passed away in WandaVision, but her daughter Monica (Teyonah Parris) played a major role in that show and has been confirmed to appear alongside Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers in The Marvels.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness also featured an unexpected appearance from Anson Mount as Blackagar Boltagon, first seen as Black Bolt in the short-lived Inhumans series on ABC. The character can cause major destruction with the softest whisper, and it would be interesting to see the character revamped for the MCU. Given that an Inhumans movie was scheduled for release and then was canceled, it seems like Marvel might be eager to reintroduce the characters to a wider audience. There is a chance another version of Black Bolt could return to the MCU to support a more prominent hero — most likely Mr. Fantastic since Black Bolt was originally introduced in a Fantastic Four comic.
In an exciting call-back to What If…? episode 1, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sees Hayley Atwell return to the live-action MCU, now as Captain Carter. Peggy Carter continues to be an audience favorite, and Marvel has brought Atwell back to reprise the role many times, including in the Marvel One-Shot short film Agent Carter, which was expanded to a full TV series on ABC. After the What If…? episodes that explored the possibility of Peggy taking the super-solider serum instead of Steve Rogers, it was widely speculated by viewers that Atwell could return to the role in a live-action Captain Britain movie. Marvel Studios have not yet announced any plans for such a project, but that doesn’t make Captain Carter’s appearance in Doctor Strange 2 any less exciting.
X-Men Sequel/Professor X Solo Film
Charles Xavier’s first appearance in the MCU received the most hype in the lead-up to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘s release after the trailer vaguely confirmed his role in the movie. While he has little screen time, the Earth-838 version of the character is pretty similar to the version seen in previous X-Men movies. Audiences have long been awaiting a serious entrance of the X-Men into the MCU. After the Quicksilver red herring in WandaVision, it’s hugely exciting to see Sir Patrick Stewart’s beloved Professor X again. While no plans for an MCU X-Men movie or solo Professor X film have been announced, there’s no doubting that audiences would welcome a movie that allows mutants to fight alongside members of the Avengers.
Apart from setting up potential standalone films, or movies centered around other superhero groups, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sets up elements of a new Avengers movie. Since many of the members of the original Avengers have either died or are training younger heroes to take their place, there is much speculation about how the group will now live on. Like many of the MCU films following Avengers: Endgame, this one deals with the aftermath of the blip, with Stephen Strange struggling with his specific role in giving the Time Stone to Thanos instead of fighting him some other way. This leads to an exploration of the character that sees him become more mature and humble, qualities that would aid him in stepping into a position of leadership for the new version of the Avengers that will bridge former members like Ant-Man and new members like Shang-Chi.
Doctor Strange 3
Finally, the scene that follows a note in the credits that “Doctor Strange will return” implies that Benedict Cumberbatch will be back for another solo outing as Stephen Strange. Although he seems to have found some peace with himself by the first sequel’s end, as well as the ability to live a semi-normal life alongside his duties as a sorcerer, the Doctor Strange 2 post-credits scene brought one final cameo appearance, from Charlize Theron as Clea. The comic character is a fellow sorcerer who fights alongside Doctor Strange as a pupil and eventually marries him and takes on the role of Sorcerer Supreme. In the scene, Clea finds Doctor Strange and challenges him to enter a cosmic portal with her, which builds excitement both for more multiversal travel and character development for Stephen Strange. It’s possible that Doctor Strange 3 could continue to explore darker territory as seen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, to follow up on the effects that the Darkhold seems to have had on the titular character.
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023
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