Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens in theaters this week as one of the most anticipated MCU Phase 4 projects to date. It’s also the first MCU movie to put the multiverse front and center rather than it being just a minor element of the plot. The multiverse was referenced in Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Infinity War, Endgame, WandaVision, Loki, What If…?, and No Way Home.
Doctor Strange 2 will be a complete multiverse story that builds upon the events in those films and TV shows. Endgame and Loki were pivotal in establishing time travel rules, although time travel doesn’t entirely cover it. The Avengers were traveling between universes to specific points in time in Endgame. Loki further elaborated on those rules, disclosing the person who had been pulling the strings all along.
But the Doctor Strange 2 writer just said that the multiverse rules laid out in Loki might be too stringent. Mind you, some spoilers might follow below.
Does Loki cause Multiverse of Madness?
Just a few days ago, I looked at the big Loki reveal from a different point of view in preparation for Multiverse of Madness. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is the one who saw just one path to victory in Infinity War. In just one of the more than 14 million future variants that Stephen inspected, the Avengers won.
But the reason that happened is that Kang (Jonathan Majors) designed reality that way. He and his TVA ensured the MCU timeline progressed in a specific manner, which involved beating Thanos (Josh Brolin) In a specific way.
Loki also told us that the first Kang version that we met relinquished control at some point while the Avengers were saving reality in the main MCU universe. The MCU timeline was free to branch out from that moment on, and the multiverse expanded.
The events that followed, like Strange messing with the multiverse in No Way Home to help Peter Parker (Tom Holland), are possible because the TVA was no longer policing the primary reality. And Marvel confirmed that happens to be the case.
That’s all to say that Loki is easily the most important MCU TV show on Disney Plus when it comes to its impact on the MCU.
The Strange connection to Loki season 2
The events in Doctor Strange 2 simply follow what happened in No Way Home. And they’re possible because the He Who Remains version of Kang got bored. Or crazy. Or a combination of the two. But there is something in Loki that Michael Waldron would like to take back.
Waldron wrote the first Loki season before moving to Doctor Strange 2 to continue telling multiverse stories. This transition ensured a high level of cohesiveness when it comes to tackling this particular subject. And Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has long been rumored to appear in Multiverse of Madness.
Talking to Digital Spy, Waldron refrained from confirming any specific links between the two projects or surprise cameos. But he teased that connections exist between these projects, including one between Multiverse of Madness and Loki season 2.
“Well, I mean, look, everything leads into everything, right?” he said. “We’ve hired a couple of great directors. [Justin] Benson and [Aaron] Moorhead [Loki season 2 directors] are brilliant. And Eric Martin has taken over as head writer for season 2.”
”So the creative team is fantastic. As Tom [Hiddleston, who plays Loki] once said, there’s plenty more mischief to come.”
What’s the mysterious multiverse rule in Loki?
But Waldron also revealed an interesting tidbit about Loki. The multiverse rules might be too tight for the MCU’s own good.
“We worked pretty hard on Loki to make it as airtight as possible,” he said. “But there were times when I was like, ‘Oh, shit, I wish I hadn’t have defined that so clearly. I don’t know why I had to be so specific in my time-travel television show about the rules of the multiverse.’”
“But, I was glad that I came in with institutional knowledge of the multiverse and was able to get the creative team of Doctor Strange on the same page as me on everything. Because, like with Loki, that’s the most important thing when you’re dealing with this.”
“You have to all have a shared language of all this stuff, otherwise it can get pretty confusing,” he concluded.
Unfortunately, Waldron never explained the multiverse rule that he defined so clearly in Loki, and how it might have impacted Doctor Strange 2. Hopefully, we’ll learn that secret down the road.
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