Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
will be one of the most exciting MCU movies of Phase 4 — the cherry on top of all the multiverse action to date. Shows and movies like Loki, What If…?, and Spider-Man: No Way Home have started exploring the multiverse, and that’s not even counting the multiverse teases from previous phases. Of all the superheroes in the MCU, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is the best positioned to figure out the multiverse issues and attempt to solve them. He’ll likely encounter multiple Avenger variants in the different realities that he will visit. That opens up the possibility of some incredible cameos that could offer different takes on well-known characters from movies based on Marvel’s comics.
To that point, a few exciting Doctor Strange 2 cameos might have been confirmed already — though we’ll warn you that exciting spoilers follow ahead.
Doctor Strange 2 and the multiverse magic
The multiverse is a useful trick that allows Marvel to do whatever it wants with its MCU movies, TV shows, and characters. That’s both good and bad news for fans. On the one hand, the multiverse might give us a chance to see Robert Downey Jr. back as Iron Man or Tony Stark without Marvel ruining the Endgame legacy.
On the other hand, the multiverse can nullify the high stakes in these movies and give us a way out for every solution. For example, the Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Loki is not the God of Mischief that we’ve observed for more than a decade in the MCU. He’s a variant that had a very different arc.
But there is one great side-effect of the multiverse that we’ll come to appreciate in a few weeks when No Way Home drops. Thanks to the multiverse, Marvel will connect the MCU to Sony’s Spider-Man Universe and Netflix’s Marvel shows.
That’s what makes Doctor Strange 2 even more ambitious. Marvel can link up the MCU with the universe that Fox created with the Marvel characters it controlled. That includes Deadpool, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four.
Of course, Loki has a place in all of this. That’s because the events in the Disney Plus show unleashed the MCU multiverse.
The Loki cameo rumors
Before Phase 4 started, we knew that Loki would tie into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Kevin Feige confirmed that a couple of years ago, seemingly implying that Loki would appear in the movie. We just had no idea how the two projects linked up.
Now that we have seen the first season of Loki, we know the bigger picture. Loki and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) refused to accept their roles as timeline protectors. Sylvie chose not to follow in the footsteps of the Kang (Jonathan Majors) variant. As a result, the MCU multiverse is free to evolve without any risk of pruning from the TVA. And it’s free to intersect with other multiverses.
Therefore, it wasn’t surprising to see rumors claiming that characters from Loki would appear in Doctor Strange 2. Loki and Sylvie are usually mentioned, but Owen Wilson’s Mobius is also a possibility.
The plot leaks and reshoots
It was only a few weeks ago that the Doctor Strange 2 leaks started pouring out online. Leaks revealed the entire plot, the villain’s identity, the exciting cameos, the expected casualties, and the post-credits scenes. Then Marvel delayed the movie, as well as several other MCU titles.
Word on the street was that Marvel wanted to fix the sequel’s story and add in more cameos from the MCU to make fans happy. Shortly after, Cumberbatch confirmed the extensive reshoots in recent interviews. He addressed them again in an interview with Empire. An excerpt of the magazine’s January edition gives us this quote from the actor:
We’re in the middle of reshoots and we’re working incredibly hard to make a schedule work to realize the full potential of the film – bits that we want to do better but also bits that were just impossible to do on the day because of logistics, COVID, etc. We were so delayed in production because of that. Luckily, not during production too much. Although everything is just a little slower.
Cumberbatch made no mention of the cameos, let alone Loki. But Murphy’s Multiverse observed an exciting development on the movie’s IMDb page, which you can see in the screenshot below:
Spoilers in the Doctor Strange 2 credits
The stunt doubles for Hiddleston, Di Martino, and Owen Wilson are credited in the cast list. Naturally, anyone with access to that page could add those names. But the people most likely to do so are the actual performers. Marvel could fix this if it was a mistake. However, those stunt double credits were in there in mid-September. And Marvel hasn’t made any effort to remove them.
A few days ago, a report said that actors from Marvel’s Disney Plus shows who were not available while Doctor Strange 2 was shooting will cameo in the film. At the time, we pointed out that Loki and Sylvie were likely candidates, given the multiverse focus. Not to mention that writer Michael Waldron worked on Loki and Doctor Strange 2. And he consulted on No Way Home as well.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens on May 6th, 2022. And we’ll probably get even more clues about the Loki connection in the coming months.