Even by Marvel Studios standards, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was a film marked by secrecy up until its release. The multiversal nature of the movie led to plenty of rumors and speculations ahead of the release. Many fans expected or hoped for a large number of cameos from various Marvel properties that did not actually happen. Since the film’s release, fans have debated whether or not the lack of some “fan service” that many expected was helpful or detrimental to the Doctor Strange sequel.
Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron has weighed in on the discussion. In an interview with ComicBook.com, Waldron was asked whether there was pressure to include that type of “fan service” in the film. The writer said there was some pressure but that the movie’s creators were never interested in the “cheap cheer”:
It’s easy to be seduced by the cheap laugh, the cheap cheer, whatever. But that’s never what Marvel or Sam [Raimi] were interested in. It was always about what’s right for the story, what’s right for Steven Strange, what’s right for Wanda. It was never about fan service, really. It was like, ‘If these Illuminati characters are here, they should be here because that’s who’s in the Illuminati in the comics, and that’s who would actually be in the Illuminati.’ That was our north star.Michael Waldron
In Multiverse of Madness, the Illuminati and the overall sequence that involved them were one of the most memorable (and cheer-inducing) moments of the film. The group contained several exciting characters for fans. Hayley Atwell’s Captain Carter, Lashana Lynch’s Captain Marvel, Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier, John Krasinski’s Reed Richards, and Anson Mount’s Black Bolt joined Chiwetel Ejiofor’s variant Baron Mordo to form the now-violently-deceased organization. As many noticed, though, their roles were significantly greater than cameos. Waldron seems to confirm the importance of the Illuminati to the story of the Doctor Strange sequel instead of merely fan service to excite MCU and Marvel comics fans.
Audiences can judge the Illuminati themselves as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now playing in theaters worldwide.