Phase 4: Reality Checked
From director picks, casting confirmations for Electro, Kang the Conqueror, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel to release date postponements, and WandaVision trailers, Marvel Studios has certainly been its most active since the pandemic arose back in early 2020. And while we won’t have any theatrical releases from Marvel until May 2021 with Black Widow, Phase 4 is definitely set to kick off in late 2020 with the premiere of WandaVision on Disney+, with evidence suggesting it might come out this November.
Now, since the announcement of Phase Four back in SDCC 2019, I was particularly intrigued by two projects in that lineup: WandaVision (2020) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).
Wanda Maximoff and Doctor Strange.
We know from the Marvel Studios panel last year at SDCC that the events of WandaVision are going to tie directly into the Multiverse of Madness and based on what we know from the plot synopses of these projects (& the LITERAL title of the Doctor Strange sequel):
PHASE 4 WILL delve into the multiverse
Kevin Feige at SDCC 2019.
To quote Kevin Feige: “Just because Quentin Beck makes up lies about the multiverse, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.” When Feige announced these two projects and said they would tie directly with each other, the first thing that immediately came to mind was House of M, a comic book event where Scarlet Witch managed to alter the reality in the comics, something that has already been teased to occur during the WandaVision Disney+ show. What makes this show so important is that the events in which the show is based on affected not only Wanda and Vision but pretty much the entire 616 comic universe as a whole. So, we can predict that the events of WandaVision will transcend the boundaries of the show and affect the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.
HOW DOES THE MULTIVERSE ACTUALLY WORK IN THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE?
We know that based on Professor Hulk’s and the Ancient One’s descriptions of how the flow of time works that whenever someone from the future alters the events of the past, they don’t necessarily affect the events of that timeline, but rather create another timeline based on the alteration of those chain of events, essentially creating a brand new universe. An example of this will be shown in the upcoming Disney+ show; Loki (2021), where we’ll see Loki, presumably in an alternate timeline (and therefore an alternate universe) with the Tesseract following the events of the “The Avengers” (2012).
BUT WHAT HAPPENS IF REALITY BREAKS?
In the multiverse theory, each separate universe exists in a different plane of existence from another universe, meaning all of these alternate universes exist, but they are separate from each other. But let’s say that the events of one universe are so powerful, that they can alter the fabric of space-time, to the point where the spaces between universe begin to blur and those alternate universes begin to converge onto one another. That would mean that theoretically if Wanda Maximoff is indeed the catalyst that will break reality by the series finale of WandaVision, then Wanda could be so powerful that not only could she tear a rift in her universe, but create a rift in reality itself, which could allow the merging of other universes into our own. And the results of these rifts could bring about so many exciting possibilities to the MCU. For example:
we could see some old faces:
We already know from our very own Charles Murphy that Evan Peters will be joining the ranks of the MCU for WandaVision in a secret role. Now, he could be playing a number of different things. He could be playing a brand new villain, or just another character entirely. However, there is the possibility that he could portray a new version of Wanda’s brother, Pietro Maximoff aka Quicksilver, last seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), portrayed by Aaron Taylor Johnson. This is a popular theory amongst fans because Peters has already portrayed Quicksilver in the “X-Men Fox Universe.” And while I don’t think it will be the exact same character from that specific universe, it could be a sort of “soft reboot” where a character is portrayed by the same actor, but the actor gives a completely different portrayal from the previous iteration. An example of this was JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson during the post credit scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019). Simmons had already portrayed Jameson before during the Spider-Man trilogy directed by Sam Raimi, but he gave a different portrayal of the character for the MCU. The same could be said for Jamie Foxx’s ‘Electro’ who portrayed the villain in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) and will now be returning as the character in Spider-Man 3 (2021). I also discussed the possibility of Morbius (2021) being the film that could connect the SMCU to MCU in my San Quentin Prison Theory. And lastly, we could see the incoporation of characters that have already existed in alternate universe and portray those very same iterations within the MCU. And while there a number of rumored characters out there that could potentially reprise their roles for a spectacular event, the best example I could think of his Ryan Reynolds’ “Deadpool”, a character that has been known to break the 4th wall from time to time.
we could see some new ones too:
In a Multiverse, anything is possible. We could see the introduction of characters like America Chavez, who’s comic origins are deeply rooted in the concepts of the Multiverse. And since we know that the multiverse bases itself on the premise of time-travel, we could possibly see the introduction of a character known for his time-travel shenanigans, Kang the Conqueror.
CONCLUSION: THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE IS ABOUT TO GET A WHOLE LOT BIGGER
With the concept of the Multiverse finally being explored in the MCU, chances are we might have to change its name from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse. Without a doubt, the idea of the concept being introduced to these franchises is something that should excite fans because we might finally be able to see stories that have never could have been possible to bring to the big screen before now, like an MCU adaptation of the Marvel Comics event, Secret Wars. Or who knows? Maybe if the universes align, we might get to see a live-action Spider-Verse film play out. With the multiverse, anything is possible.