Friday was cuckoo bananas, yo! And “cuckoo bananas” is a term I never use lightly. Disney pulled off the ultimate power flex to its competitors when the studio unleashed a torrent of massive announcements regarding future Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Disney+, and more projects. And in all of that geekiness, it appears I overlooked something important. During his presentation about the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige also dropped a couple of major announcements about the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is key to future MCU plans.
We’ve known for some time that next year’s WandaVision Disney+ series will be leading directly to the events of the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel, which will see Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff teaming up with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme somehow. However, Feige has now also confirmed that Cumberbatch will appear in the the-still-untitled third Spider-Man film which will then also lead into Multiverse of Madness. This almost certainly further reinforces the theory that Tom Holland’s Spidey will be diving deep into the multiverse – or Spider-Verse, if you will – which is how characters from past pre-MCU iterations of the franchise (such as Jamie Foxx’s Electro, Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus, and more) can show up again now.
Keeping things multiversal, Feige also revealed that The Babysitter’s Club actress Xochitl Gomez (her first name is pronounced So-Chee, by the way) has joined the cast of Doctor Strange 2 as America Chavez aka Ms. America. This is pretty awesome for three reasons.
Firstly, as a lesbian Latina in the comics, Ms. Marvel helps Marvel Studios to continue overcoming its cast diversity issues. Secondly, in the comics, among a number of different teams she’s joined since first debuting in 2011, Ms. America is also a member of the Young Avengers. I’ve been floating a theory for a while now that Marvel is strategically assembling the cast for a movie adaptation of the Young Avengers as perhaps the next big crossover. One of those other teams she’s a member of was The Ultimates, the big cosmic threat level response team consisting of Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Photon, and Blue Marvel. Besides the latter, all the other members are either already in or soon to be part of the MCU. I feel like the future MCU roadmap is getting clearer by the day.
Thirdly, Ms. America may just be the key to Marvel’s entire multiverse-hopping gameplan for the next few years. I won’t get too deep into her background because it’s a bit complex, but Ms. Marvel was raised in a dimension existing outside of space and time, inheriting a string of abilities thanks to her proximity to the Demiurge (which is actually just a twisted alternate future version of her future Young Avengers teammate Wiccan – told you it was complex). One of those powers literally lets her punch holes through the fabric of reality from one universe to the next. She can use these star-shaped portals to slip between realities at will. If there was ever a way to explore the multiverse – or let the dangers of the greater multiverse into the MCU – she would be it!
This will all kick off when WandaVision debuts on Disney+ on 15 January 2021, the still-untitled third Spider-Man film will then continue the story on 17 December 2021, and finally Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will arrive on 25 March 2022.
Last Updated: December 14, 2020