This Wednesday's episode of What If...? will revolve around a very different version of Stephen Strange, and a new look at "Doctor Strange Supreme" has now been revealed courtesy of Marvel Studios!
This character poster puts the spotlight on the Sorcerer Supreme, and we should get a promo tomorrow that reveals the episode title and premise of the latest instalment of this animated series. With Benedict Cumberbatch set to reprise the role, this should be a big one, especially as we've seen this Strange seemingly battling the one we know from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Is it possible we're getting our first Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness tie-in? We'll see.
The only official details we've had on this Doctor Strange Variant came on some packaging for a Marvel Legends action figure that read, "When an unforeseen event changes Stephen Strange's perspective on life, the path he chooses is one filled with even darker magic."
This fresh take on Strange has intrigued fans from the start, and something tells us things could get really crazy in this particular reality. The character appears to have a future in this animated series, anyway, as promos and trailers have shown him alongside everyone from Captain Carter to "Party Thor."
Check out this new What If...? poster below:
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we're hoping to see in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness!
6. Doctor Strange Supreme
We'll get to meet "Doctor Strange Supreme" in this week's episode of What If...?, but fans are already intrigued about what this version of Stephen Strange will bring to the table. It's clear he's a version of the hero who headed down a darker path, but could those shots of him in trailers battling what looks like our Strange be a sign of things to come in this sequel?
If so, we could be about to witness the origin story of the MCU's Necromancer. For those of you unfamiliar with that villain, he's the Doctor Strange of another Earth. The difference is that he killed Baron Mordo and proceeded to use the Book of Vishanti to conquer the planet. After being sucked into Eternity, he'd eventually escape after witnessing the destruction of his home.
That led him into conflict with the Marvel Universe's Doctor Strange, and using Necromancer could be a fascinating way to delve into what Strange might have become with just a few different decisions.
We're not suggesting Strange be the villain of his own movie, but it could be fun to watch Cumberbatch battle himself, tying that live-action movie into the events of What If...? in the process.
5. The 616 Avengers
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is obviously a huge comic book fan, and seeing Strange arrive on in the same reality the adventure we see on the page take place in would be epic. Marvel Studios would have to pull out all the stops in terms of cameos, but just imagine seeing Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, and more in classic, WandaVision-style costumes!
It would be tricky to choose which point in the Marvel Universe's history to have this take place in, but we'll be keeping everything crossed for that early Stan Lee era of storytelling.
In recent years, the studio has really embraced those classic costumes in inventive ways. As a result, it's not outside the realm of possibility that they'll show us what the MCU might have been.
An extra for the sequel has been listed as a "616" inhabitant, so this might not be that crazy...
4. Captain HYDRA
Picture this: exhausted from battling his way through the Multiverse, Doctor Strange lands in a reality where he's greeted by a familiar face: it's Chris Evans' Captain America! Needless to say, the Sorcerer Supreme would be beyond relieved that he's found an ally, but it would be then both the hero and those watching in theaters would come to understand this is Captain HYDRA!
A version of Steve Rogers who was actually loyal to that group from before he even took the Super Soldier Serum, Strange finding himself on a world that's ruled by HYDRA could offer us a terrifying glimpse into what might have been for the MCU. It would also more than likely serve as a great showcase for Evans to portray a very different Cap.
We know this was an idea considered and rejected for What If...?, so perhaps it's something Marvel Studios will instead decide to explore in this movie?
Who knows, but this could be a fun moment that drives home just how dark some corners of the Multiverse are. That plays into the horror vibe this sequel reportedly has, and could lead to an epic battle between Strange and a Captain America who has the might of HYDRA behind him.
We know that Deadpool 3 is in the works at Marvel Studios, and it sounds like cameras could start rolling on the Merc with the Mouth's MCU debut as soon as next year.
Wade Wilson isn't technically a mutant, so he won't have to come packaged alongside the X-Men. However, the decision will have to be made whether to reboot the character or find a way to keep his big screen history intact. If the latter is an option, then this sequel could be crucial for the crazy anti-hero.
Strange could cross paths with Deadpool at some point, with a post-credits scene revealing that he found a way to follow the Sorcerer Supreme back to the MCU...trapping himself there in the process.
It would be a fun moment and one that could play out really nicely on screen.
2. Iron Man
As much as we'd love to see more of Robert Downey Jr., that's not the Iron Man we're talking about here. Instead, we'd love to see Marvel Studios find a way to include a version played by Tom Cruise!
There have been rumblings for a while now that the Mission: Impossible 7 star will make a cameo appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and it would make sense seeing as the production of the two movies overlapped in London. It's hard to imagine Cruise ever having a major role in the MCU, so this would work nicely.
The actor was once being lined up to play Iron Man, and it would be a crazy way to toy with fans by having Iron Man remove his helmet and Cruise's face being underneath.
This would primarily be played for laughs, but is still a fun potential cameo.
Sometimes, the most obvious suggestion really is the best one.
With Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi at the helm of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it makes perfect sense for the filmmaker to be given the opportunity to re-team with Tobey Maguire for a final farewell to this version of the wall-crawler (especially as it's become clear Spider-Man: No Way Home is going to bring back this Peter Parker and some of his greatest foes).
It would be an absolute blast for Strange to share the screen with Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man, and it would be pretty cool to have the team-up take place prior to the events of Spider-Man 2.
Why? Well, that would explain why J. Jonah Jameson said there was already a "Doctor Strange" while attempting to come up with a name for Doctor Octopus! We're just having fun with that, of course, but not heading down this route would be a real missed opportunity on Marvel Studios' part.