Theory Thursday: Exploring the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse
There’s no doubt in my mind that the biggest story element that will come into play for the Next Phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be the concept of the Multiverse. Already teased back in Avengers: Endgame (2019) with Dr. Banner’s explanation of the concept of time travel and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), the MCU looks like it will indeed explore the boundaries outside of its already established universe. This concept will most likely be explored on a larger scale over the Disney+ series, WandaVision (2020) and Loki (2021), and the MCU film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), (with rumors of the concept being explored in the upcoming Spider-Man sequel; Spider-Man: Something with Home in the Title (2021)). We’ll also be able to see the concept of the multiverse be explored on a smaller scale in the upcoming Disney+ show; What If? (2021). Now, definitely, the major chunk of the film will be explored in the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel and there are dozens of questions as to what different universes we might explore. So today, I’m listing off the different Marvel properties that Marvel could revisit and explore for this film.
I. Blade (1998 – 2004)
This was a suggestion by the members of our Discord Group in Knowhere (Shoutout to you guys!). Wesley Snipes’ Blade walked so Marvel Studios could run. The film franchise that would essentially lay the groundwork for many of the Marvel superhero films we now know today started with the Blade franchise and it actually brought back interest to the Marvel Comics franchise to develop their films. It would be nice to see Marvel Studios show a small nod to the universe of the vampire hunter before we get our own version in the MCU with Mahershala Ali.
II. Daredevil/Elektra (2003 – 2005)
This was another suggestion by our Discord Members and it was just too funny not to imagine the idea of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner reprising their roles as Daredevil and Elektra for small cameos in the Doctor Strange sequel. These films were set in the time and universe where leather was the standard for Superhero costumes and I’d just love to see Ben Affleck don the Matt Murdock mantle again, even if for a small cameo. Speaking of Matt Murdock…
III. The Defenders Universe (2015-2019)
It’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that the way Netflix brought about the creation of these characters and their stories was overall one of the best things to come out of Marvel TV. Charlie Cox’s Daredevil was, and still is, one of the most popular iterations of Marvel characters brought to life and has been one of the most requested by fans for Kevin Feige to bring back in a small reboot form to the MCU. Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones, Mike Colter’s Luke Cage, Finn Jones’ Iron Fist, and Jon Bernthal’s Punisher are no exceptions either. Fantastic story development and world-building came from this portion of the universe and it would be great to see these characters show a small cameo of their world in the Marvel Multiverse and maybe crossover into the MCU someday.
IV. Fantastic Four (2005-2007)
Now when I mention the Fantastic Four, I mean THESE Fantastic Four. We call the 2015 film; Fan4stic (as in Fan-Four-Stic) because that wasn’t a Fantastic 4 film. This version of Marvel’s first family with Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards, Jessica Alba as Susan Storm, Chris Evans as Johnny Storm, and Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm wasn’t necessarily all that fantastic either, but the chemistry among them really made them great and it was a very fun franchise while it lasted. It would be fun to see them revisit this universe in a small cameo and maybe we’ll see Evans reprise his role again as Johnny Storm and have him be confused for his MCU counterpart of Captain America.
V. The X-Men (2000 – 2020)
Okay, so the 20th Century Fox-owned X-Men films have existed for nearly 20 years now and they’ve had their share of ups and downs (mainly downs), but they’ve had some good moments and actors in these franchises whom I would love to see cameo in this whole Multiverse fiasco. Mainly Hugh Jackman as Wolverine because it’s just difficult to picture another Wolverine as iconic as his. An interaction of Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier with Doctor Strange sounds like it would be an interesting thing to see as well. I don’t think it will necessarily happen but one can dream no?
VI. Ghost Rider (2007 – 2011)
Nicolas Cage’s take on the antihero was something definitely worth mentioning here on this list. Sure, the films are slightly forgettable but just the idea of Cage alone being nodded as a Ghost Rider from another dimension sounds like a fantastic idea for a cameo and a tease of what could come if the MCU finally decides to introduce Ghost Rider into the MCU.
VII. Spider-Man (2002 – 2015)
I know many like myself are hyping themselves up at even the smallest chance of having a Spider-Verse moment occur in live-action. It’s something fans have been clamoring for for years, and now, with the gates of the multiverse being blown wide open in the MCU, it seems like the perfect time to bring these characters in for an adventure of epic proportions. Will it happen though? Only time will tell.