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Doctor Strange 2 storyboards reveal the original Illuminati team was different

Updated Dec 27th, 2022 11:13AM EST
Doctor Strange 2 Super Bowl Trailer
Image: Marvel Studios

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The months leading up to the release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness featured plenty of exciting rumors, teasing the many superhero cameos we would see in the movie. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) visiting different realities meant we’d see variants of well-known heroes from the primary MCU reality. We now know which rumors came true and which didn’t, as we met the Illuminati in Doctor Strange 2, just as rumors indicated.

It turns out some of the incorrect rumors were based on reality. Some Doctor Strange 2 storyboards are available online, revealing that the original Illuminati team was different than what we saw in the final cut. We’d warn you that Multiverse of Madness spoilers are below, but the movie has been out for the better part of the year, and it’s streaming on Disney Plus.

However, the characters that Marvel didn’t use could always appear in the multiverse. And those might constitute big MCU spoilers that some fans might want to avoid.

Doctor Strange met the Illuminati on Earth-838, where they captured him. The Illuminati thought Strange was a bigger threat to the universe’s stability than Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen), a mistake most of them had to pay dearly for. Wanda killed most of them, significantly injuring others.

The final Illuminati team in Doctor Strange 2 consisted of Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Mr. Fantastic (John Krasinski), Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch), Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), and Black Bolt (Anson Mount).

John Krasinski as Mister Fantastic in Doctor Strange 2.
John Krasinski as Mister Fantastic in Doctor Strange 2. Image source: Marvel Studios

Of those, only Baron Mordo survived for certain, and that’s because he never fought Wanda. Captain Marvel might also be alive under the rubble, but that’s speculation. Not that it really matters at this point. There’s no indication that we’ll see Earth-838 characters in the near future. But if we were to see any of them, Secret Wars is the kind of movie that could make that happen.

The Illuminati in the Doctor Strange 2 storyboards

Some Marvel fans might have thought the Illuminati team above was underwhelming. Especially those people who read the rumors. That’s because Multiverse of Madness leaks offered various exciting cameos for the sequel. Characters like Iron Man, Deadpool, and Wolverine appeared in some of those leaks.

The most exciting rumor concerned Tom Cruise playing a variant of Iron Man from the reality that would be called Earth-838, as an Illuminati member.

Moreover, Marvel’s extended reshoot session indicated that anything was possible. And rumors at the time said that Marvel wanted more cameos for Doctor Strange 2.

Doctor Strange 2 storyboard art shows a different Illuminati team.
Doctor Strange 2 storyboard art shows a different Illuminati team. Image source: Soren Bendt

After the movie hit theaters, we heard that Marvel had Balder the Brave on the Illuminati team. None other than Daniel Craig was supposed to play him, but the pandemic altered those plans.

Fast-forward to late December, and we have an exciting Doctor Strange 2 storyboard art to show you. Posted online by artist Soren Bendt, the storyboards focus on the Illuminati team on Earth-838.

Some Illuminati members are identical to the ones Marvel used in Doctor Strange 2. We have Captain Marvel, Captain Carter, and Professor X in different scenes. Baron Mordo isn’t around, but he must be on the team.

More exciting are the Illuminati members that Marvel didn’t use. One of them is Balder the Brave. The other is an Iron Man variant. These storyboards indicate that the Doctor Strange 2 cameo rumors might have been correct until Marvel decided to change the roster. They also show that Marvel would storyboard any idea, even if there’s little chance of using it in the film.

Reacting to the art, leaker MyTimeToShine Hello retweeted a February 20th claim of theirs that said Iron Monger, and not Iron Man, would appear in Doctor Strange 2.

You can check Bendt’s storyboards, including various Illuminati scenes, at this link. As for Doctor Strange 2, the sequel is available for streaming on Disney Plus.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.