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Warning: SPOILERS about “ Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness ” follow in the article!
The myth of the great Marvel master plan has been alive since the end credits scene of » Iron Man «. The appearance of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and the nod to his Avengers initiative made it clear that there’s more to come. From that moment on, every clue, every Easter egg, has been scrutinized by fans to see what it might reveal about future plans.
Marvel fueled the master plan narrative itself. The films were divided into phases, which always end with a big event. MCU boss Kevin Feige had himself portrayed in a magazine, with the reporter telling with great astonishment that there was a large whiteboard in Feige’s office where the future of the MCU was sketched out many years in advance.
But even if this exact master plan once existed (which this article will also doubt later), it no longer exists — at least not in the way many fans imagine it.
The current film “ Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness ” proves this perfectly: because anyone who believes that it has been planned for years to build Wanda ( Elizabeth Olsen ) into a great antagonist who kills across the multiverse is just as wrong , like everyone who thinks that Doctor Strange 2 now builds perfectly on Spider-Man: No Way Home .
«Doctor Strange 2» takes place after «Spider-Man: No Way Home»: Just a coincidence
The fact that the two films appear in this order was actually not planned at all. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness was originally slated to hit theaters two months before Spider-Man: No Way Home. Even when director Scott Derrickson dropped out and Sam Raimi was brought in as a replacement, Marvel initially declined his request for a postponement to allow for more prep time.
It was only when the Corona pandemic led to a complete rescheduling of theatrical releases that Marvel gave in to Raimi’s urging, which caused a great deal of excitement, especially for the «Spider-Man: No Way Home» makers.
Marvel Studios First «Doctor Strange 2» or first «No Way Home»? Marvel changed their minds again.
America Chavez was planned for Spider-Man: No Way Home
Because in «Doctor Strange 2», which was only released later, the old concept was largely retained (a major change came later) and the title hero, played by Benedict Cumberbatch , was allowed to explore the multiverse anew. His first contact with it through Spider-Man’s adventures is now only a short joke. Many fans previously hoped for Spider-Men cameos in «Doctor Strange 2» — by Tom Holland , Andrew Garfield or by Tobey Maguire . But that was never up for debate, because it was actually assumed to play before «No Way Home».
In the case of «No Way Home», on the other hand, the screenplay had to be revised again at short notice. Suddenly you didn’t have a Doctor Strange who was more familiar with the multiverse. And one was faced with the question of how to bring the characters from the different universes together at all.
America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez in Doctor Strange 2, was originally slated to have a major role in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Her ability to travel the multiverse would have helped Spidey. Confronted with villains from other universes, the idea would have arisen to simply ask the Spideys from these parallel worlds for advice. Due to the postponement, the young heroine was no longer available. Because it’s only introduced in the film afterwards.
As an emergency solution, the idea arose that Ned ( Jacob Batalon ) can now do magic. And the innovation of simply bringing the “Doctor Strange 2” trailer as the “No Way Home” end credits scene was probably more of an emergency solution.
Wanda wasn’t supposed to be the «Doctor Strange 2» villain at first
But there were also changes in “Doctor Strange 2”. It’s not without reason that fans are divided on whether » WandaVision » is the perfect derivation of Wanda’s role in «Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness» or contradicts it. For one, we know from the Disney+ series how powerful she is now as the Scarlet Witch. We also get to know her children and it becomes easier to understand why she kills to be with them again.
At the same time, by the end of WandaVision, she seemed to have made peace with her post-Endgame pain and seemed to have a new perspective on life. Her transformation into the great antagonist may seem a bit sudden — because it wasn’t the original plan either…
» «WandaVision» on Disney+ *
It was only when Sam Raimi came on board and gained time to prepare due to the Corona postponement that he sat down with «Loki» author Michael Waldron and they decided to revise the script again. Originally, they even stuck to the fact that Wanda is part of the team around Doctor Strange and America Chavez — and only turns into an adversary at the end when she discovers her children in the multiverse and wants to take them with her.
But the duo behind the camera gradually realized that Wanda is a marginal figure in this story, that another threat takes too much away from her. That’s how the idea of making her the main villain of the story came up in the first place.
The fact that Wanda has been behind everything from the beginning and wants to get her boys back through the multiverse was not planned for a long time, but a spontaneous idea.
Marvel’s great achievement isn’t planning, it’s reaction
In an interview, Benedict Cumberbatch told us that he is always excited when he reads fan theories and reflections on the internet. He often thinks that maybe these people should have been hired, because that’s even better than the film that was actually planned. But not all that dissimilar is Marvel, as the studio is great at responding to fans.
Doctor Strange 2: Interview with Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen (FILMSTARTS-Original)