If you’re trying to avoid even seeing trailers for Multiverse of Madness, just skip past this whole post. I’m going to mention things from the trailer in connection with other rumors.
You may want to skip this post entirely even if you just don’t like having speculative rumors rattling around in your imagination—even if they’re mostly wrong, having an inkling of what might happen can be enough to ruin surprises for you.
The rumor mill is already in overdrive on this one. We know it’s about Dr. Strange! We know there’s a multiverse involved. We know Wanda is in this. Some logical possibilities for things we don’t know, but can extrapolate from what we’ve already seen:
If you’ve seen WandaVision, and especially if you know enough about the comics to see a pattern in current and upcoming casting announcements, it sure seems like they’re putting all the pieces in place for a Young Avengers team, which in the comics includes Wanda’s sons Billy and Tommy (Wiccan and Speed). Is Multiverse of Madness going to follow up on this dangling thread from WandaVision?
If you’ve seen Loki, there are the obvious ties to the splintering of the sacred timeline and the multiverse concept, plus Michael Waldron wrote both Loki and Multiverse of Madness. So it’s certainly possible we could see Loki, Sylvie, or a version of The One Who Remains/Kang show up here.
If you’ve seen What If…?, you could also be wondering about other multiverse characters from that show making a live-action appearance here. Speculation is already rampant about whether the other Stephen Strange seen in the second trailer is supposed to be the same one we saw with a big role in What If…?, and of course fans are eager to see their other favorites so there’s lots of hope for a Captain Carter live-action debut.
If you’ve seen Spider-Man: No Way Home, you’ve obviously already seen some guest appearances from the multiverse, and some people are speculating we’ll see more of those specific characters. I’m more skeptical of this than the other possibilities I’ve listed so far, just because I doubt they want to turn this into that much of a direct follow-up to any narrative threads from No Way Home. Multiverse of Madness certainly looks like it’s going to use the circumstances from No Way Home as its springboard into the multiverse, but it would feel weird to me to include any version of Peter Parker again here.
But we’ve also got some wild theories coming from things like alleged concept art leaks and the usual poorly sourced social media rumor mill. This is all, as far as I’m concerned, both very unsubstantiated in its specifics, but also likely to have at least a grain of truth to it. Seriously, don’t read this if you don’t want your imagination turning over possibilities.
It’s rumored that Dr. Strange is going to run into some universe’s version of Marvel’s “Illuminati”, a secret group of Marvel’s most powerful (and mostly benevolent, though sometimes conflicted) heroes that sort of called the shots from behind the scenes. Its original lineup in the comics was Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Charles Xavier, Tony Stark, Dr. Strange, Black Bolt, and Namor. I’ve seen rumors just vaguely hinting at some version of the Illuminati, and I’ve seen people making specific claims for everyone in that lineup except Namor appearing (which jibes with Namor already rumored for another upcoming Marvel project, so possibly saving his debut for that, or maybe he’s in too and the rumor mill just hasn’t gotten around to him). I’ve also seen rumors that this Illuminati would have Magneto instead of Xavier, which could potentially have more resonance with Wanda’s involvement in this film (and maybe mean the return of some version of Pietro as well). I haven’t seen actors attached to any of those rumors though. No idea if they would involve any of the FOX actors if any mutants show up.
Sounds crazy, right? Would they really set the stage for the Fantastic Four and X-Men all together in this movie? But if you’d told me a year ago what happens in No Way Home, I wouldn’t have believed that either.
And of course with all of those rumors and speculation, at this point any of these things could be major parts of the film with ramifications for the future of the MCU, split-second Easter eggs for fans, or post-credits scenes splitting the difference.