Doctor Strange: 5 burning questions that all-important [spoiler] scene leaves us with

Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has certainly left us hanging with a lot of questions. (You'd better believe it – check out our spoiler-filled breakdown of the Doctor Strange mid-credits scene for more.)

For those who've seen the movie, there is, of course, a significant scene midway through that unveils a host of important cameos. For those who haven't yet seen it, don't proceed any further. Those who have, carry on into the multiverse.


Having arrived in the alternate dimension of Earth-868, Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) finds himself drugged by his treacherous ex-colleague Baron Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor). The latter then takes Strange in front of a mysterious committee known as the Illuminati, and there are more than a few familiar faces among their ranks.

On this version of Earth, Doctor Strange was killed after his reckless experimentation with the deadly magic known as the Darkhold. Strange wielded this magic in a desperate attempt to kill Thanos (Josh Brolin), and although he succeeded, Strange was later killed himself by the Illuminati to prevent him from causing more harm.

More specifically, the Illuminati feared that Strange would cause an incursion where two separate universes collide and threaten the entire fabric of space-time. Needless to say, this is something of a revelation for our version of Stephen Strange.

The reveal of the Illuminati leaves us with some serious humdinging questions as to the future of the MVU. Scroll down to discover what they are.

1. Will John Krasinski return as Reed Richards?

Fans have long been clamouring for John Krasinski's casting as Mr. Fantastic. And in Multiverse of Madness, their prayers are answered... for a very brief time. When the 'dream walking' Scarlet Witch sadistically uses her alternate self to stretch Mr. Fantastic into oblivion, it leaves us a bit shocked, and curious as to what the long-term game plan is for his character.

Would Marvel really go to the effort and expense of casting Krasinski as the character only to permanently kill him off? Unlikely. And, as we've said, Krasinski has long been a popular choice with the fans. Because we're dealing with multiversal realities, the MCU could, theoretically, resurrect another Krasinski iteration of Mr. Fantastic and proceed as normal. Well, as normal as it gets in these circumstances.

The Fantastic Four movie has long been on the cards within the MCU. Once Disney purchased 20th Century Fox and brought the latter studio into its orbit, the possibility of an MCU Fantastic Four movie suddenly became a reality. Although director Jon Watts has recently dropped out of the planned Fantastic Four film, we imagine that Krasinski will be a fixture in one form or another.

But will they cast his real-life wife Emily Blunt as the Invisible Woman? This may well be a pipe dream in the minds of Marvel fans.


2. How did Monica Rambeau become Captain Marvel?

In 2019's Captain Marvel, the character of Monica Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) was established as a former ally of fighter pilot Carol Danvers (Brie Larson). The latter was reborn as Vers, later to become Captain Marvel, and the arc of the movie centered on Vers reclaiming her memories. 

Monica was a key part of this process, but in Multiverse of Madness, she's actually taken the place of Vers. How this happened isn't explained in the context of the Illuminati sequence. It simply appears that on Earth 838, where Strange is confronted with the Illuminati, this is the way things are.

No doubt this is trailing some breadcrumbs for a future Captain Marvel development whereby Maria grows into the legend of the superhero. With the Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels, due for release in March 2023, maybe we'll start to get some overtures as to how an alternate Maria attained her superhero identity?

Bear in mind that we likely won't see the Earth-868 iteration of Monica/Captain Marvel again after Scarlet Witch crushes her beneath a statue. But, as we said in reference to Mr. Fantastic, this is a newly unfolding multiverse of possibilities and characters could potentially come back ad infinitum. 


3. Will Captain Carter rise again?

As a member of the Illuminati, Captain Carter aka Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) sports a distinctively British flavour as the proto-Captain America. Sadly, the joy of seeing Peggy back in action doesn't last long – she's viciously bisected with her own shield after Scarlet Witch deflects it at her.

Marvel previously introduced this version of Peggy in the animated series What If...? In the show, Steve Rogers was initially chosen to receive the Super Soldier serum, but ultimately it was given to Peggy who volunteered for the procedure. Steve and Peggy fell in love but Peggy's final mission mysteriously transported her to the MCU circa 2012.

In that story, Peggy and Steve remained separated until the end, although What If...? season two might reveal that Steve somehow also found his way into the future as teased in the season one finale.

Are we due to get another incarnation of Captain Carter to make up for her sudden and bloody demise in Multiverse of Madness?


4. Does the presence of Black Bolt signify that an Inhumans movie is on the way?

Marvel TV series Inhumans was a rare and short-lived misfire. Nevertheless, one of its key characters, Black Bolt, appears as an Illuminati member in Multiverse of Madness. Played by original TV star Anson Mount, Black Bolt possesses a supersonic voice that can essentially pulverize everything in the vicinity.

Bad luck for him: Scarlet Witch seals his mouth shut and then Black Bolt's intrinsic abilities end up frying his own brain from within. Ouch.

Although Inhumans was a flop, does Black Bolt's appearance signify that the property will be rebooted in a cinematic fashion? As with all the other members of the Illuminati, we're led to assume that there are other iterations of these characters existing beyond the realm of Earth-868.

It might be a canny way for Marvel Studios to give all of its properties, even the relatively shonky ones, a fresh lick of paint as we advance towards the end of MCU Phase Four and onwards towards MCU Phase Five.


5. Will they reboot Charles Xavier in another dimension with a new actor?

This is very likely to be a yes. Back in 2017, Patrick Stewart's journey as X-Men figurehead Charles Xavier reached its logical conclusion in the bloody and powerful Logan, starring Hugh Jackman in the title role.

It's a joy to see Stewart back in the role in Multiverse of Madness (even if the trailer gave the game away in advance), but his role as the Earth-868 Xavier doesn't last long. In a psychic bid to liberate Wanda Maximoff from her Scarlet Witch persona, Xavier's neck is brutally snapped and, like the rest of his Illuminati colleagues, he expires.

It may seem like an unceremonious way to treat such a revered character and actor. But Xavier has already proven to be a mutable character, one capable of being repurposed by different actors. After all, Stewart, in his advancing years, can't keep playing the character forever.

James McAvoy portrayed Xavier as a younger man for the first time in 2011's X-Men: First Class, so we imagine that a multiversal variant of Xavier is likely to emerge in the MCU's long-anticipated X-Men movie

As always, Kevin Feige hasn't given concrete details about the X-Men's emergence into the MCU. (This was only made possible when Disney purchased original X-Men rights owners Fox.) But given the limitless parameters of the multiverse, it should be relatively straightforward to recast an alternate Xavier, and he may well sit alongside a re-imagined X-Men ensemble.


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