Marvel Studios 2022
What was so much speculation in advance about all the possible cameos in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness . Will we see Tom Cruise as Iron Man? Is Deadpool finally moving into the MCU? Many thought that the trip through the multiverse would lead to encounters with different variants of well-known MCU characters. But there is no time for that in the film, which is just over two hours long. Therefore, the cameos – apart from the Bruce Campbell appearance, which is obligatory for Sam Raimi films – are almost completely limited to a single passage of the film: Doctor Strange ( Benedict Cumberbatch ) confronts the Illuminati.
ATTENTION: We SPOILERS in this article of course the cameos — and also what happens to the respective characters!
Marvel teased this scene in numerous trailers and TV spots in advance and revealed more and more of it. So at some point it became clear that we would see this secret society, which controls events on earth from the secret. In the film, however, we do not learn that the Illuminati exist on our MCU variation of the universe, i.e. on Earth-616, but on another one: on Earth-838.
This is where the Illuminati were once founded by Doctor Strange himself. However, he has now passed away and six other people lead the company on Earth-838. But who are these 6? Not everyone in the cinema should have understood all the allusions immediately, which is why we are unraveling them here.
Patrick Stewart as Professor X
Surely the biggest appearance, which should say something to almost everyone in the cinema, is the one revealed in the film, but spoiled by trailers from Marvel itself early on: Patrick Stewart plays Professor X again. But we obviously don’t see the variant from the previous X-Men films. So these movies are not set on Earth-838.
This is illustrated by the professor’s floating, yellow wheelchair, which is very different from the character’s appearances in previous films. This refers namely to an «X-Men» cartoon series from the nineties . It is certainly not entirely coincidental that a new edition of this is currently in the works: “ X-Men ’97 ” is scheduled to come to Disney+ in 2023. But the most interesting aspect for MCU fans is that the fact that there is a professor X on this earth suggests that there is also a professor X on the MCU earth.
Anson Mount as Black Bolt
A lot fewer people are likely to recognize the hero who doesn’t speak because he would tear everyone to their deaths with just a whisper: Anson Mount returns as Black Bolt — and if you’re now wondering why we’re talking about a return, you hear it to the many people who have been completely ignored by an MCU series, which Marvel itself has been happy to keep secret: “ Inhumans ”!
» «Marvel’s Inhumans» on Disney+ *
But you don’t really have to catch up on the series. She really is as bad as her reputation — and despite all the tragedy of his character, who is not allowed to speak because that would kill her, Black Bolt in particular is pretty much the most boring character to have left the comic pages to be in a MCU production to come to life.
MCU disaster on Disney +: «Inhumans» really is such a disaster
In our opinion, the fact that Marvel has brought him back for «Doctor Strange 2» is not an indication that the Inhumans are now becoming important again and also playing a role on the MCU earth. The only reason was that they found a particularly nice way to kill him. And Sam Raimi did that wonderfully well.
John Krasinski as Reed Richards
Another form of Easter egg is the appearance of The Office star John Krasinski as Reed Richards. Because this does not refer to anything that has already been mentioned in a film or in a series, but to something that may be in the future. Because it is known that Marvel is working on a new » Fantastic Four » movie, which should also be located in the MCU. And there has long been a rumor that Krasinski will play Reed Richards here, but this has not yet been confirmed.
However, the question remains open: will this casting really take place and is Marvel already anticipating it? Or are you just alluding to the fan casting without any deeper meaning?
Hayley Atwell as Captain Carter
An Easter egg that could work again without any knowledge is the appearance of Hayley Atwell as Captain Carter. In that world back then, she and not Steve Rogers ( Chris Evans ) got the super soldier serum and then picked up the shield with the British flag instead of the American flag. The animation series “ What If…? ‘, although we can assume that this was a different Captain Carter variant than here in the film, which is divided in half by its own shield.
Lashana Lynch as Captain Marvel
Another «what if…» variation is the appearance of a different Captain Marvel than we’ve seen in the MCU so far. It’s at least a gimmick that’s easy to understand even with pure knowledge of the MCU movies. While on Earth-616 Carol Danvers ( Brie Larson ) got the superpowers, as we saw in Captain Marvel, on Earth-838 it was arguably just her best friend Maria Rambeau ( Lashana Lynch ). End of the story.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Sorcerer Supreme Mordo
The last Illuminati member in our list has the closest relevance to the story — the first one we see in the film. In this 838 world, Mordo ( Chiwetel Ejiofor ) is the Sorcerer Supreme. How he became is explained in the film: after the death of Doctor Strange there, he simply succeeded him. This is at least more than a gag, because the old rivalry between the two plays an important role. It was also an easy way for Marvel to bring back Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was already under contract for a sequel, as Mordo, although they didn’t find a place in the story for the Earth-616 Mordo teased at the end of Doctor Strange as a future villain .
Conclusion: Cameos as short gags without much meaning
It remains to be said that the cameos are actually just a series of small gags. These are moments that should make fans rejoice. While that will certainly happen to many with a Patrick Stewart, an Anson Mount is likely to be met with a shrug.
The main function of the characters is then to die — and as explicitly as the youth rating only allows. So it simply opens up the possibility for Marvel to slaughter more prominent stars and characters. For the future, however, these appearances have no role.
In the FILMSTARTS podcast on screen love, there is therefore also the opinion in the intensive and also controversial discussion about » Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness » that these cameos are more annoying than useful:
For even more about the «Doctor Strange» sequel, we not only recommend this podcast, but also the video by our Marvel expert Sebastian. He not only talks about the cameos, but also about the credits scene, the future of Wanda Maximoff and much, much more.
Doctor Strange 2: Ending Explained (FILMSTARTS Original)