‘Doctor Strange’ Sequel Writer Reveals a Surprising Inspiration for the Illuminati


By now, it’s pretty widely known that the Illuminati appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The superhero team were teased in the final trailers for the film, but the exact part they played in the plot remained a mystery until the full movie hit theaters. When the group was ultimately introduced on screen, audiences were ecstatic. They seemed mighty, confident, and unbeatable. Patrick Stewart made a triumphant return as Charles Xavier; John Krasinski surprised everyone with his debut as Reed Richards; and Anson Mount was finally able to bring Black Bolt to the big screen. Then, after only a few moments of glorious screen time, every single one of them died.

Screenwriter Michael Waldron recently sat down with Rolling Stone to discuss some of his choices while developing Multiverse of Madness, and the Illuminati were among the central topics. He revealed the inspiration behind the team’s role in the film, and how their scenes played out, came from another famous sequel released in 1986:

I was watching Aliens a lot as I was writing. Because just tonally this movie is a thriller and a [feature-length] chase. I just love how Aliens goes to great lengths to tell you how badass the space Marines are – and then they just get slaughtered. Then you are really scared of the Xenomorphs for the rest of that movie, and that’s what I wanted to accomplish with Wanda. At the end of the Illuminati sequence, I hope you were truly terrified of the Scarlet Witch. It’s been awesome being in the theater hearing the cheers, then the gasps and the groans. [Laughs] I mean, you know, people were feeling something at the movies. That’s good!

Michael Waldron

The tactic was definitely successful, with Wanda’s single-handed killing of Earth-838’s Mightiest Heroes instantly solidifying her as one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s greatest threats. Head to the theater now and relive one of the most talked-about moments in Marvel movie history, and bring a friend to see if Waldron‘s writing strategy works just as well on them.

Source: Rolling Stone

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