After spending the year 2020 on the down-low for obvious reasons, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is once again revving its engine and preparing to take the world by the storm. While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the timeline of the MCU’s Phase 4, Marvel Studios’ dual barrage of movies and Disney+ shows will still proceed — and the fans are eagerly waiting.
The single most interesting concept in the MCU’s upcoming stage is the MCU multiverse, which has been teased for oh-so-long — and what it could mean to the characters. This ties neatly into the ever-expanding casting news and speculations regarding the currently untitled Spider-Man 3. Rumor has it that past Spider-Men Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire might be joining the film, and Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx have already been confirmed to reprise their roles as Doc Ock and Electro, villains of former Spider-franchises.
So, what exactly is going on here? Will Tom Holland’s Spidey lead the way to the MCU multiverse in an inspired version of the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse? If not, at which point will Marvel Studios unleash the multiverse on the audience’s eagerly awaiting eyeballs?
During a digital press conference on January 10, which Looper attended, Kevin Feige responded to some questions about Spider-Man 3 casting and the Marvel multiverse.
Kevin Feige confirms Doctor Strange 2 as the MCU’s biggest multiverse hint
Though the Marvel Studios president’s focus was on promoting WandaVision — which premieres on Disney+ on January 15 — he also found time to address a few piping hot issues about the heavily rumored Marvel multiverse in an interview with Comic Book. The good news is that he pretty much confirmed that the MCU multiverse is indeed in the plans. However, he did it simply by pointing out the one Phase 4 thing that already kind of confirmed it in the first place. “The biggest clue is the title of the second Doctor Strange movie,” Feige said, referring to the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. “That’s the biggest clue of where the Multiverse of Madness is taking us and how we’re exploring that.”
This comment seems to indicate that Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will lead the way to the MCU version of the (evidently rather mad) multiverse, which would be fitting, considering the psychedelic reality-bending antics of his first movie.
Kevin Feige says some Spider-Man 3 casting rumors may hit the mark
While Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness pretty much advertises the multiverse as its central concept, and the first Doctor Strange movie even has the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) offhandedly mention the term, it’s worth noting that the other movie series that has explicitly mentioned the term in recent years has been Spider-Man. Spider-Man: Far from Home name-drops the concept via Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). While he turns out to be a fraud, the many, many non-MCU characters both confirmed and rumored to appear in Spider-Man 3 — plus the presence of Doctor Strange himself — can be more than enough to make one think that your friendly neighborhood web-head’s third solo outing might just be the MCU’s first big multiverse tentpole, with Doctor Strange 2 further expanding on the concept. That is, provided all the casting rumors are correct.
Though Feige avoided revealing anything specific, he is at least partially aware of the wild casting speculation surrounding Spider-Man 3, and admitted that at least some of it might be on point.
“The fun thing about online speculation when it comes to our stuff is how sometimes it couldn’t be more off the mark and sometimes it’s shockingly close, and that’s held true for the last few years,” he said about the Spider-Man 3 casting rumors. “But saying which is which would take all the fun out of everything.”
So, while the Marvel Studios main guy isn’t about to outright reveal anything, at least he stealthily admitted that some rumors out there may not hit too far from home.