Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney+ with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Stephen Strange and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/The Scarlet Witch. It had a rocky reception in theaters, but it could gain favor as Marvel fans can dissect it scene by scene.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness took the former sorcerer supreme across the Marvel Multiverse with the help of the new young avenger America Chavez/Ms. America (Xochitl Gomez) and her power to create star-shaped portals through the Multiverse.
In one of the craziest scenes in the MCU, Doctor Strange and America Chavez arrive on Earth-838 and meet the Illuminati. Members of Earth-838 include Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic (John Krasinski), Blackagar Boltagon/Black Bolt/King of the Inhumans (Anson Mount), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), and Captain Marvel Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch).
And spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but the Illuminati had a rough encounter with Scarlet Witch during her quest to reunite with her twin sons Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne) from WandaVision.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has an audio commentary as part of the digital release. In this, head writer Michael Waldron revealed there was supposed to be a seventh member of the Illuminati who was cut. Per The Direct, he said:
“The Wasp was in a version of the Illuminati, and the Wasp shrunk down and flew at Wanda, and she just clapped her hands and just smushed the Wasp in the first draft.”
Brutal. Evangeline Lilly, who played Hope Van Dyne in Ant-Man (2015), Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019), is probably happy to have been cut if that was going to be her fate. Michael Waldron did not share why Lilly was cut, but speculation suggests that it could be because of the controversy she sparked by being openly against the COVID-19 vaccine.
It has been rumored Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios may replace her, but she is confirmed to return as Hope Van Dyne in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania on February 17, 2023, with Scott Lang/Paul Rudd. The daughter of the first Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), has been one of the most under-utilized of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
In Marvel Comics, Wasp/Janet Van Dyne was a founding member of the Avengers and even came up with the name, but she has never had a chance to shine in the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hope Van Dyne had an important episode of What If…? but still has a lot of potential to live up to.
Are you glad that director Sam Raimi ended up sparring the Wasp in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
You can stream Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and the seven series in Marvel’s Phase Four so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Marvel’s What If…?, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight, and Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel — on Disney+ anytime