***MINOR SPOILERS FOR DOCTOR STRANGE 2***
Some fans may be surprised to know that Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man connects to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), and it’s heartbreaking once you realize the connection.
Just like other major MCU movies, Doctor Strange 2 has found several ways to connect to other movies in the MCU and set up a variety of different projects. The movie hints that the X-Men may have Patrick Stewart return as Charles Xavier/Professor X, John Krasinski may end up being the MCU’s Reed Richards, and nightmares are actually connected to other universes.
The opening scene of Doctor Strange 2 starts off with Doctor Strange’s nightmare that is revealed to have just happened in another universe. America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) explains that this is possible due to a person’s subconscious going into other universes while you sleep. This means that any dream you have is actually happening to another variant of you in the Multiverse. A crazy concept that Iron Man would’ve been scared to know in the MCU.
Tony Stark has a lot of PTSD and trauma in Iron Man 3 (2013) leading the super hero to have a few recurring nightmares. Fans learn in Avengers: Infinity Wars (2018) that Iron Man has been plagued with dreams about Thanos and his army coming back to Earth ever since the Battle of New York in The Avengers (2012). This means that Tony was looking at other universes where Thanos won against Earth’s mightiest heroes.
Tony’s nightmares were also shown in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) when Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch saw into his mind. That nightmare had Thanos invading Earth with all the Avengers dead and had Captain America telling Tony that “he could’ve saved them.” This horrifying nightmare shows how heartbreaking Avengers: Endgame (2019) is for Iron Man because not only does he defeat Thanos, but he does what his other universes weren’t able to do.
One thing to point out about the nightmares is that it seems that Josh Brolin’s Thanos wasn’t as patient and sent a second invasion force right after the first attack on New York. The Avengers wouldn’t be able to stop a full invasion force which would’ve led to the end of the Avengers and Thanos retrieving the Mind Stone and Space Stone. His infinity conquest must’ve started a lot earlier in these universes, but whether or not Thanos succeeds is unclear, but he most likely does.
Doctor Strange was also able to look into other universes when he used the Time Stone in Infinity War which led to Strange knowing over 14 million other universes where the Avengers lost. Stark must’ve seen quite a few of those universes in his dreams, and it’s still sad that Tony had to see his other variants lose against the one thing he feared most.
At the end of the day, Tony died believing those nightmares were just his fears and not at all connected to the Multiverse which may have been a good thing. If Tony did know, the horror of that knowledge could have led him down a darker path. With Iron Man gone, fans expected to see a variant of the iconic super hero in Doctor Strange 2, but Marvel confirms that they did briefly consider bringing in Tom Cruise and then decided it wasn’t going to work out.
More on Doctor Strange 2
Doctor Strange 2 is directed by Sam Raimi and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange in the main timeline, but he will also play other variants in the movie such as Sinister Strange, Defender Strange, and Strange Supreme.
The movie will also star Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), Wong as the Sorcerer Supreme (Benedict Wong), Mordo, (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Rintrah (Adam Hugill), Charles Xavier/Professor X (Sir Patrick Stewart), and potentially other characters from the Marvel universe.
Do you like how the Multiverse continues to connect with the MCU? What do you want to see happen in another MCU universe? Let us know in the comments below!
Phase Four has started off with a lot of content for Marvel fans to look forward to in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On Disney+ you can watch Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel on June 8, and She-Hulk to debut this year. For movies, Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness is out in theaters right now, followed by Thor: Love and Thunder on July 8, and of course, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on November 11.