After months of speculation about which Marvel characters would surface in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the Sam Raimi blockbuster that comes with several iconic heroes appearing during Doctor Strange and America Chavez’s journey to Earth-838. As expected, the two crossed paths with the Illuminati – a council of heroes watching over the universe and multiverse.
The Earth-838 roster included many popular heroes, including Baron Mordo, Captain Carter, Professor X, Reed Richards, Black Bolt, and Maria Rambeau’s Captain Marvel. With the exception of Mordo, the entire team was sorry by the Scarlet Witch due to her arrogance in her pursuit of America Chavez.
Now that Strange is firmly settled back on Earth-616, fans have begun to wonder if they’ll ever encounter a new Illuminati – made up of the heroes and cast of the MCU. Now, a new documentary has teased that there might be one in the cards for Marvel Studios.
The Illuminati Could Return In The MCU’s Future
During the Marvel Studios is assembled documentary for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnessproducer Richie Palmer has hinted that the MCU may one day introduce its own Earth-616 Illuminati.
Palmed revealed that Marvel Studios has been eager to introduce the Illuminati for years, explaining why it was “a really exciting thing” use the team in another universe. Although Palmer teased that fans could still “Go see an Illuminati of [the] Main MCU one day:”
“The Illuminati is a group that we have wanted to introduce into our films for years. It’s a secret organization that works off the grid. They do things that other groups like the Avengers wouldn’t be too happy about… Doing it in an alternate universe in the Multiverse, was a really exciting thing because we meet a version of this group in this alternate universe, and then we could still see an Illuminati from our mainline MCU one day, which is also very exciting.
Writer Michael Waldron later explained that the idea for the Illuminati came from difficulties writing the second act of the screenplay and deciding on “break the movie and do something really crazy:”
“Yeah, this is definitely a case where I don’t know what to do with the script and I think…” We’re in the second act. Something has to happen. What should it be? It gets to a point where it’s like, ‘We were kinda halfway there. Let’s stop the movie and do something really crazy.'”
Director Sam Raimi went on to discuss the many characters offered to the Illuminati, such as Doctor Doom, Doctor Strange, and more:
“When Marvel first wrote about the Illuminati, they had their characters. Doctor Doom was among them, Doctor Strange, lots of different characters. But we had to make a selection.
Waldron revealed the difficulties in deciding the line-up, explaining that there were “different rights issues [and] people shown in other movies” worry, something that would have prevented Namor from joining the Illuminati:
“Who is the most exciting cast of characters? Do we just choose who we want in the comics? Obviously there are different rights issues, people appear in other films.
Raimi explained that they “took into account what the fans wanted to see” as opposed to “what they expected.” The Direct previously reflected on how it was John Krasinski’s fan casting as Reed Richards that led to his appearance:
“So we took into account what the fans wanted to see. We wanted fans to be like, ‘Oh, that’s cool!’ I mean, that was really our goal. We wanted to give the fans what they wanted. Not exactly what they expected.
When will the Illuminati return to the MCU?
Earth-838 may have lost its Illuminati to Wanda Maximoff in Multiverse of Madness, but Earth-616 has yet to introduce its own iteration of the team. Having now encountered an Illuminati, Strange may soon seek to replicate the team on Earth-616 to better handle catastrophic events like Thanos’ destruction of the galaxy and Scarlet Witch’s attack on the multiverse.
For the MCU to properly fill an Illuminati, it may be best to wait until the X-Men are introduced to allow Professor X or another mutant to join the roster. The essence of the Illuminati is that they have representatives from every corner of the Marvel Universe, so it’s important that each member of the team comes from a variety of backgrounds and brings something unique to the table.
Looking at the current state of the MCU and upcoming characters, some potential Illuminati heroes could include Hulk, Captain Marvel, Reed Richards, Doctor Strange, Professor X, Captain America, Namor, Black Panther, and Sersi. This list would cover cosmos, science, magic, mutants, Avengers, Atlantis, Wakanda and Eternals
Obviously these heroes would have to meet before the Illuminati Earth-616 could come together, so maybe the aftermath of avengers 5 (apparently Secret Wars) might be the right time. Who knows if the Illuminati will see a solo release or just work behind the scenes of the MCU? The team tends to be more idea-driven than action-oriented, so the latter may be more likely.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.