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What does the future of the MCU look like after Doctor Strange 2?

Published May 11th, 2022 10:16PM EDT
Doctor Strange in Multiverse of Madness trailer
Image: Marvel Studios

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is out now in theaters. It’s the first MCU movie to focus entirely on the multiverse, expanding on what we learned in Avengers: Endgame, Loki, What If…?, and Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Marvel did not answer all of our multiverse questions in Doctor Strange 2, which means there are several loose ends to tie up in upcoming MCU adventures.

You should know that massive plot spoilers follow below. Make sure you watch the full movie, post-credits scenes included, before reading on.

Who is Clea in the MCU?

Since we started with the post-credits scene, let’s tackle that cameo. Clea (Charlize Theron) appeared in the first Doctor Strange 2 post-credits but didn’t introduce herself. That’s how Marvel added this comic book character to the MCU. She challenged Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to help her prevent an incursion that he created. And he’s up for it.

The incursions in Doctor Strange 2

Perhaps the most consequential development of Doctor Strange 2 is the concept of incursions. The MCU has them just like the comic books. Mister Fantastic (John Krasinski) explained to Strange that his presence on Earth-838 might lead to an incursion. That’s an event where two realities collide, leading to the destruction of one or both universes.

The 838 Strange, the one the Illuminati killed, triggered one such incursion while dreamwalking in other realities. And we know that both Strange and Wanda Maximoff have been doing some dreamwalking to navigate other realities.

The theory is that Doctor Strange 2 sets the stage for a massive crossover MCU event similar to Endgame in scope based on the Secret Wars comics.

Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) informing Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) of the Illuminati - YouTube TV spot version
Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) informing Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) of the Illuminati – YouTube TV spot version. Image source: Marvel Studios

The MCU’s Mordo

We saw Earth-838’s Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in Doctor Stange 2, but not this reality’s variant. He is still out there somewhere. And he must have witnessed all these events that tampered with natural law. We’ll probably see Mordo down the road again, whether it’s the 616 variant or the Sorcerer Supreme from the Illuminati reality.

The Fantastic Four are coming

Since we did mention Krasinski’s short-lived Reed Richards cameo, we can’t help but wonder whether the actor will play the same character in the future. We know that the Fantastic Four is coming in what will be one of the most anticipated Marvel reboots of Fox’s properties. But having Krasinski in Doctor Strange 2 isn’t enough to confirm he’ll also star in the reboot.

For years, fans have been asking Marvel to cast him and his wife as Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. Emily Blunt has consistently denied rumors that she would take on the role. And she seemed uninterested in long MCU contracts. But Krasinski had wanted to appear in the MCU before the first Captain America movie, where he lost the Steve Rogers role to Chris Evans.

Fantastic Four teaser from Marvel movies promo clip
Fantastic Four teaser from Marvel movies promo clip. Image source: Marvel Studios

Having the actor in Doctor Strange 2 is a safe way for Marvel to test his Mister Fantastic. Depending on how audiences respond, he might become the MCU’s Reed Richard. And if he does, his next meeting with Strange will certainly be interesting. Not to mention Wanda.

Is Wanda dead?

Since Wanda is such a big part of Doctor Strange 2, we dedicated ample time to the character. We explained why her arc makes sense in the movie given her MCU progression so far, WandaVision included.

And we showed you that Olsen is willing to appear in more MCU films after Doctor Strange 2. The movie implies that our Wanda might be dead, but there are other Wandas in the multiverse. Including the friendlier version in Earth-838.

If there were to be an incursion event, then it sure feels like 616 and 838 are the two Earths that might battle it out.

Doctor Strange 2 Super Bowl Trailer
Two Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) variants in a familiar setting. Image source: Marvel Studios

The X-Men’s introduction in the MCU

We can’t talk about Wanda without mentioning the X-Men. Doctor Strange 2 did not deliver the introduction of the X-Men in the MCU. We have mutants on Earth-838, which just lost Professor X (Patrick Stewart). Undoubtedly they will want to take action if that’s even possible for them. Earth-838 has also lost most of the Illuminati and Supreme Strange so far.

But Marvel will have to find a way to bring the mutants into the MCU. A way that makes sense for the massive universe that the MCU has become.

Doctor Strange 2’s brand new Avenger

It’s not just Clea that Doctor Strange 2 brought to the MCU. The Avengers just got a weapon unavailable anywhere else in the multiverse. That’s America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), whose powers we explored in Multiverse of Madness.

She decided to stay on Earth-616, which is a remarkable development. There’s no other version of Chavez in the multiverse. Or so she believes, considering that she doesn’t dream. And dreaming is a way to experience your other selves from the multiverse.

Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Image source: Marvel Studios

The Darkhold in the multiverse

Speaking of things that don’t exist in the multiverse, we can’t ignore the Darkhold. Wanda destroyed the dark magic book that corrupted her mind so that it also disappeared from other realities. This probably must mean that Wanda also destroyed all the other Wundagore Mountains. But does that mean we won’t be seeing any dark magic and related demons going forward?

On a different note, the Darkhold’s destruction might mean that Agatha (Kathryn Hahn) is no longer under Wanda’s spell in the MCU.

Doctor Strange 2 Super Bowl Trailer
Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in trailer 2. Image source: Marvel Studios

Doctor Strange in … Doctor Strange 3?

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the leading Avengers in the MCU. Doctor Strange 2 further reinforces that idea as it evolves the character’s arc. This Strange isn’t about to go evil anytime soon, although he did dabble in dark magic. And he has a third eye.

But unlike other Strange variants, he’s seen other ways to fix things, allowing others to handle the scalpel in his stead.

And he’s finally ready to move on from Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) and dare to fall in love with someone else. Clea is probably going to be that person.

That’s to say we’ll probably have a Doctor Strange 3 in the MCU in the future. But there’s no telling how long we have to wait for that. We expect to see Strange and Wong (Benedict Wong) appear in other MCU stories.

(L-R): Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange and Benedict Wong as Wong in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Image source: Marvel Studios

What about Kang?

The events in Loki set in motion all the multiverse adventures that we have seen so far. Endgame is possible because Kang (Jonathan Majors) wanted those events to occur in that order. As soon as he died, the multiverse was free from the TVA. Almost immediately, another TVA emerged, which will be explored in Loki season 2.

But Doctor Strange 2 doesn’t feature any Loki cameos. We’re not told the relationship between the events in No Way Home and Doctor Strange 2 and Loki. These multiverse stories wouldn’t be possible while the Kang we met in the TV show managed the TVA. The agency would have probably pruned the branches that diverged from the MCU timeline. That includes preventing multiverse events in No Way Home and Doctor Strange 2.

Loki season 2 will probably explain everything and reveal what the next Kang variant will use his TVA for.

Loki Episode 6
Kang (Jonathan Majors) in Loki finale. Image source: Marvel Studios

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

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.