The main end credits scene for Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness is already incredible epic. It reveals a brand new hero named Clea, played by Charlize Theron, who takes Strange on what we can only imagine is yet another multiverse adventure. But, in the film’s very early stages, there was an even bigger reveal. One that was so big, it ended up in the movie itself.
In Multiverse of Madness, Strange visits many different universes but one in particular stands out. It’s Earth-838, home of the Illuminati, a group of superheroes who look slightly familiar, but, are all in fact quite different. There’s Black Bolt, a new version of Baron Mordo, a new Captain Marvel, a new Captain America, Professor X from the X-Men universe, and then a character writer Michael Waldron originally thought he’d only get in the end credits: Mr. Fantastic himself, Reed Richards.
“I always wanted Reed Richards in this thing,” Waldron told Empire Magazine “In my very first draft, I wrote a tag just for the hell of it, of the events of the movie being recorded and reviewed by somebody in the Baxter Building, and a stretchy hand coming into frame to run it back.”
This scene, of course, never made the film and Waldron himself has explained how much his script, and others, changed during the course of filming. As it stands in the finished film, Richards isn’t relegated to mere end credits tease; we see his full face as a member of the Illuminati. It was a level up Waldron never thought possible. “Reed is probably my favorite Marvel comics character,” he said. “So I was always gunning to get him in here somewhere.”
As huge and exciting a surprise seeing Mr. Fantastic in the final film was, if he’d appeared in the end credits, it would have been even bigger (or, should we say, longer). As we now know, the character in Multiverse of Madness—played by John Krasinski—is killed. Had he not been killed, and had he been watching the events of the movie, the Richards in the movie would have been the very much alive MCU one. However, since Strange filmed many months ago, before plans for Marvel’s Phases 4-6 were likely solidified, it makes sense to not play that card before it had too. It also seems increasingly likely that role will be recast as a full-on Fantastic Four movie begins willing itself into existence under the direction of Matt Shakman. That’ll be in theaters November 2024.
It’s a very exciting time though. Marvel Studios has really started to do what fans have been clamoring for since the day yhe Walt Disney Company purchased 20th Century Fox: bringing in the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. There was a tease in Ms. Marvel about mutants, a tease in She-Hulk that sounded like Wolverine, a third Deadpool movie is on the way, and, most prominently, these Doctor Strange teases. Which are you most excited for?
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