Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated films of the year, headlined by an ensemble cast and rumored cameos. Ahead of the sequel hitting theaters, there is ample potential for anything from plot twists to surprise cameos to occur.
Doctor Strange 2 predictions
As the Doctor Strange sequel will explore the multiverse, there is unlimited potential for anything and everything to occur. Based on trailer and television spot footage alone, we know there will be multiple versions of Doctor Strange and Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch appearing on screen. We’ve seen variant versions of heroes teased to appear, such as a variant Captain Marvel portrayed by Maria Rambeau, as well as brief shots of Captain Carter’s shield, who was voiced by Hayley Atwell in the animated series What If?. Most notably, we heard the voice of Patrick Stewart, who portrayed Professor Charles Xavier in Fox’s X-Men franchise, before the rights were purchased by Disney and subsequently Marvel Studios.
The madness will literally not stop there, and based on assumptions alone, here is what can potentially occur once Multiverse of Madness hits theaters.
When the latest Multiverse of Madness trailer gave audiences a quick glance at Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Professor Charles Xavier, the tease confirmed what many fans had longed for: the arrival of the X-Men and mutants into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the expectation was that Marvel Studios would recast the characters, and they very may well still do so, having Patrick Stewart reprise his role is the ultimate fan service to die-hard comics fans. But the crossovers may not stop there.
The most recent television spot featured Baron Mordo uttering to Stephen Strange, “The Illuminati will see you now.” In comics lore, the group was comprised of founding members Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Charles Xavier, Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and Iron Man. Reed Richards is the glaring name on that list, and with Disney now holding the rights to the Fantastic Four, Multiverse of Madness would be the ideal film to quickly spotlight his arrival into the MCU.
As to which actor would portray him? Marvel will either nod towards the past with Ioan Gruffudd (who portrayed Mr. Fantastic in Fox’s franchise) or potentially do fan service with John Krasinksi portraying the hero (a popular fan casting).
The other name that jumps off the Illuminati roster is Tony Stark’s Iron Man. But the prediction is not that Robert Downey Jr. will make a brief return on screen, rather Marvel Studios may cast the original actor they wanted at the start of the MCU: Tom Cruise. It’s known that Marvel Studios originally wanted Cruise to portray the billionaire tech genius, only for Cruise to demand that his costume feature a helmet that did not cover his face. Coincidentally, in the comics, there is a “Superior Iron Man” whose suit is so advanced and features an open helmet.
Casting Tom Cruise, even for a brief cameo, would be the ultimate easter egg with fans knowing the backstory of said casting.
Marvel fans know that cameos don’t just occur in the film itself, but are historically saved for the mid-credits and end-credits scenes. Marvel Studios may just pull off a pairing that fans have long awaited to see and may only get the chance if for a brief moment after the film: the appearance of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool. With Professor Xavier already teased and the rights to the X-Men underneath the Disney umbrella, Marvel Studios can pull hit a home run and have Wolverine and Deadpool interact for a hilarious post-credits easter egg.
While Ryan Reynolds’ is expected to reprise his role as Wade Wilson in Deadpool 3, Hugh Jackman has notably said goodbye to the role of Wolverine. But, as a nice service to the fans, why not return for an albeit brief introduction of the two characters to the MCU?
The true villain revealed
Despite all the footage we’ve seen in the teaser trailers and television spots, fans still don’t truly know who the feature villain will be. We’ve seen Gargantos, the one-eyed tentacle monster face off with Doctor Strange. Footage has shown the Scarlet Witch going on a rampage herself, likely driven by her search for her children across the multiverse. But is it possible that an entirely different and larger threat looms in Multiverse of Madness?
When thinking of the multiverse, one superior villain of comics lore comes to mind and he’s already been (subtly) teased: Kang the Conqueror. Jonathan Majors portrayed a variant version of the popular villain as “He Who Remains” in Marvel Studios’ Loki series. Majors is confirmed to portray the villain in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, but who's to say we have to wait that long for Kang to appear?
Kang, whose vast knowledge has made him so technologically advanced that he’s been able to traverse between universes (as well as between the past and the future) would be the ultimate villain reveal for Multiverse of Madness. His appearance may be brief and his screentime may be little, but it would make sense for Kang to be pulling the strings from behind the scenes, leading Strange into danger and potentially leaving him in peril. And who would be needed to aid in the rescue? Fans would then find out in the villain’s next appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania, scheduled for early 2023.