As Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness draws closer and closer and we see and learn more about this upcoming film, everybody's fan theories get wilder and wilder. Coming this May from director Sam Raimi, the new Doctor Strange movie will feature all kinds of epic multiverse craziness continuing off of the events of WandaVision, Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home. This premise makes it likely that the movie's plot will feature a variety of characters from several Marvel universes, a lot of which could be past live action iterations of Marvel's characters.
On that note, Ben Affleck, the actor who starred as the titular character in 2003's Daredevil movie was asked by Marvel Studios to reprise his role in the next MCU film. While it remains unknown whether or not Affleck said yes, this means that Marvel is likely asking some of their other past actors to appear in Dr. Strange 2, which opens up a multiverse of possibility for Marvel fans.
In this blog post, I will be listing some past live action superheroes and villains my brother Artie and I are hoping to see in The Multiverse of Madness, and I will get into the why they could be returning and why I would want them too in the first place.
Note - This isn't a ranking best to worst thing, this is mostly in no particular order. However, some are closer near the top due to either how likely or awesome that would be but it's mainly just random.
10 - Ben Affleck's Daredevil
I've already elaborated on this one a little but anyways, Ben Affleck played Daredevil in the 2003 film that co-starred Jennifer Garner as Elektra. While the Daredevil movie remains to be fairly hated by the majority of comic fans, there is still a good chance the characters of this movie are still relevant. According to Marvel Studios insider Jeremy Conrad, Marvel Studios contacted Ben Affleck about possibly making a cameo in Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness.
This would be funny because if this is true it puts Ben Affleck as a crime fighting vigilante, with an essential run by Frank Miller and a secret identity in two superhero multiverse movies at the same time because he will be reprising his role as Batman in the upcoming Flash movie, which will also feature Michael Keaton's version of the character in the same film.
It remains unlikely that Affleck will return to the role of Daredevil, considering he absolutely loathed the 2003 Daredevil film. That's what inspired him to be Batman in the first place, and now he doesn't even want to do that anymore either. Regardless, it is still an interesting possibility and either way Multiverse of Madness is bound to kick ass.
9 - Timothy Rose's Howard the Duck
Trust me, I've seen the Howard the Duck movie from 1986 and I can tell you that it's one heck of a disasterpiece and one of the worst superhero movies ever made. Regardless of this, I still think it would be awesome to see the George Lucas version of Howard make a cameo appearance in the MCU multiverse's future.
He would fit into all the multiverse stuff pretty well, because the plot to the 1986 film is that he traveled from his universe to ours and helped stopped the evil Dark Overlord (who's also Mr. Rooney from Ferris Bueller's Day Off) from destroying it so one could argue that Howard the Duck was the first Marvel multiverse movie!
Even if he's just in a post credit scene or something for two seconds that would be hilarious, and I know it's a long shot but if this movie brings him into the MCU for good I'm hoping he'll go to space and cross paths with the MCU's version of Howard, voiced by Seth Green.
8 - Hugh Jackman's Wolverine
Let's face it, who doesn't want Hugh Jackman back as Wolverine? He's just as iconic to that role as Robert Downey Jr. is to Iron Man, and to see him in an MCU movie alongside Marvel's other heroes would be a dream come true. Right now I'm just imagining a Dr. Strange portal opening up while the John Ottman X-Men theme plays and boom, there's Jackman's Wolverine. The entire crowd, fans everywhere, including yours truly would lose their minds. It would be like Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man: No Way Home all over again!
It would be super awesome to see him back as Wolverine and I'd really dig seeing him team up with Dr. Strange. If he was brought into the MCU to stay, that too would be awesome because then Marvel doesn't have to worry about recasting and this amazing role and Wolverine could be an Avenger now, so I'm hoping that could all start with Multiverse of Madness.
The only reason he's so far down on this list is because while he may be the one I'm crossing my fingers for the most, he's highly unlikely if not impossible to appear. Sadly, 2017's Logan was the end of the road for the Hugh Jackman Wolverine character and he even said it himself that he's never going to return to the role. Who knows, he could be teasing, but I wouldn't count on it.
7 - Chris Evans' Johnny Storm
Avengers: Endgame was the final chapter of MCU Captain America's story. He's old and retired by the end of that film, and I feel like any one of these days he'll be canonically dead. However, that doesn't mean that's the last of Chris Evans for Marvel Studios. Something many Marvel fans can recall is that before he was the First Avenger, Evans played the Human Torch in Tim Story's Fantastic Four movie from 2005 as well as it's sequel, The Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Needless to say, if any character from those Tim Story FF movies were to ever comeback, it would be Evans' Johnny, because he's essentially to those movies as Kingo is to Eternals or Flash is to either version of Justice League: He's the character with the most personality in a boring movie, and having Johnny appear in The Multiverse of Madness would be the perfect way to keep Chris Evans part of the MCU.
I'm uncertain they would try doing this considering how picked on the Fantastic Four movies are and this may cause confusion with the upcoming Marvel Studios reboot from director John Watts (MCU Spider-Man movies) but nevertheless, I'd like to see Storm cameo in the new movie.
6 - Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool
This one is fairly likely, considering that both Deadpool films were very well received and have a massive fan base. Plus, it's also confirmed that Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool will be joining the MCU and the upcoming Deadpool 3 will be set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At first I thought that because the character breaks the first wall so much he'd be easy to just pluck from one cinematic universe and plop into another, but then I realize all the multiverse craziness going on lately would be the perfect way to bring characters from the X-Men cinematic universe to the MCU.
It could be that all the multiverse craziness going on in the new Doctor Strange movie could summon random visitors from alternate universes. While some of these visitors could be dangerous, others could be heroes, and one of those heroes could be Deadpool. After the events of the movie, Deadpool could decide to stay in the MCU and try to become an Avenger and the plot to Deadpool 3 could be Deadpool being stuck in a new universe and trying to prove himself to the heroes of that universe, but causing all kinds of trouble in the process.
He is unofficially already in the MCU, because leading up to the movie Free Guy that starred Ryan Reynolds as a video game NPC who comes to life, Reynolds had Taika Watiti on his YouTube channel to watch the trailer for Free Guy as Deadpool and Korg and make funny comments on it. (Note - This trailer was the cover story to Geek Gossip episode "Catchy Episode Title"). Seeing Deadpool interact with Korg was hilarious enough, so I can only imagine how awesome it would be to see him annoy Doctor Strange.
5 - Nicolas Cage's Ghost Rider
Hollywood celebrity Nicolas Cage starred as Johnny Blaze and Ghost Rider in both the 2007 Ghost Rider film and it's sequel, Spirit of Vengeance. While those movies may not be perfect and remain some of the most infamous Marvel films out there, there is nothing wrong with Cage's portrayal of the Ghost Rider character. He did an awesome job playing Johnny Blaze and did some of the most bad ass stuff ever, so the Ghost Rider films will always be underrated in my mind and I for some reason really enjoy that first one.
Ghost Rider was a good example of a superhero origin movie because it nailed him discovering his powers in the first 10 minutes, and the rest of the film did an awesome job at him figuring out how to use them. He had some of the coolest cheesy lines ever, like "He may have my soul but he doesn't have my spirit" and "I feel like my skull's on fire" and was overall just a really cool, interesting and well developed character.
The new Dr. Strange movie will be injected with a lot of horror elements, so a supernatural character like Ghost Rider would fit into it perfectly. I would be very interested in seeing Ghost Rider team up with Dr. Strange and Wanda Maximoff to take on multiversal threats, and just bringing Nic Cage's Ghost Rider into the MCU would be way cooler than just recasting him as Keannu Reeves in my opinion.
4 - Tom Cruise's Iron Man
Something quite a few Marvel fans will come to know is that when the first Iron Man movie was in development, the studio originally wanted to cast Mission Impossible and Top Gun star Tom Cruise to star as the Golden Avenger. Director Jon Favreau actually had to convince the studio to cast Robert Downey Jr., and thank goodness he did because due to the MCU's success Downey has become the definitive voice of the Iron Man character and things may not have gone as well if the movie starred Cruise.
However, now that Marvel Studios has brought the concept of the multiverse to the big screen, it would be very cool to have Tom Cruise play an Iron Man variant in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. It would be an awesome way to tie back to a movie that never was and have the superstar join the Marvel franchise, and it would make sense too because the Loki series showed how vast and unpredictable the beings of alternate realities could be.
3 - Evan Peters' Quicksilver
In the final days of 20th Century Fox's X-Men franchise, this leather jacket-clad super speedster was the best part of some iffy movies. Whenever someone brings up Days of Future Past, we'll remember it for the Time in a Bottle scene and same goes for Apocalypse with the Sweet Dreams are Made of This sequence. Evan Peters' Quicksilver is easily the coolest and funniest speedster to run across the big screen, so having him back would be a dream come true.
While they may have wasted the potential for a Quicksilver comeback in WandaVision with the whole dreaded "Ralph Bohner" letdown, there is still hope to see our favorite speedster in the upcoming Dr. Strange movie. Seeing a heartwarming sibling reunion between Peter and Wanda would be awesome and making this version of Quicksilver relevant again would be awesome so he could star in his own solo movie and hopefully complete his character arc by telling Magneto he's his son which he never got to do due to the cancellation of any X-Men films past The New Mutants.
2 - Wesley Snipes' Blade
The 1998 Blade movie starring Wesley Snipes was the beginning of a whole new era of superhero movies. Blade was the first ever Marvel movie I would genuinely consider good, since it had awesome fight scenes, a fun and fast moving plot and butt loads of killer one liners like "Some motherf***ers are always trying to ice skate uphill" and "Catch you motherf***ers at a bad time?".
That being said, Wesley Snipes absolutely crushed it in the role of Blade and it would be awesome to see him reprise that role and fight alongside the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I find it likely he will return as well, because if Marvel wanted to tie this into the 2003 Daredevil movie, a film with a far smaller following than the Blade franchise, there's a good chance they reached out to Wesley Snipes as well as Ben Affleck.
He would also fit into it just as well as Cage's Ghost Rider, being on the spectrum of Marvel's supernatural characters and the new Doctor Strange film loosely falling into the horror category, so I am seriously crossing my fingers for Snipes' Blade being in the new movie and I don't think I'll be disappointed either.
1 - Sir Ian McKellen's Magneto
The original portrayal of Magneto by Sir Ian McKellen in the early years of Fox's X-Men franchise is the stuff of legend, considering how perfectly cast in that role McKellen is and the character's comic accurate morals and background are spot on. I'd say he's arguably one of the greatest villains in comic book movie history, up there in the same league of Heath Ledger's Joker and Josh Brolin's Thanos.
Having him be in Multiverse of Madness has just as much potential as Alfred Molina and Willem Dafoe in No Way Home. He would work well with the story and have interesting relations with the characters, considering that he's Wanda's father from an alternate universe and his perspectives on an infinite number of realities would be interesting to see.
Erik could serve so many purposes to the story. Having him see all sorts of alternate timelines where maybe mutants were accepted or his mother had lived would be a nice philisophical touch to the new movie. He would be very important to Wanda's character arc because with the loss of her entire family it would be interesting to see how she reacts to a father of her's from another universe, and if Evan Peters' Quicksilver is in it as well they could fulfill his character arc and have Magneto finally meet his son with an awesome Maximoff family reunion.
There are really tons of characters from past Marvel movies and even Marvel movies that never were that could appear in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. If there's any cameo opportunities I missed out on that you think would be awesome, let me know in the comments! Thank you all for reading and I hope you have a great rest of your weekend. Excelsior, True Believers!!
Credit to Artie Higgins for the cover art