In the brand new trailer for Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, Benedict Cumberbatch’s sorcerer is shown being introduced to a new clan made up of very familiar comic book characters.
At one stage, he is led to a room, where he seemingly comes face-to-face with Patrick Stewart’s Professor Charles Xavier.
Professor X’s involvement not only teases the arrival of the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which has been in motion since 2019, but the arrival of a society from Marvel Comics made up of a variety of characters.
In the comics, these characters join forces and are shown to secretly work together behind the scenes – something Doctor Strange will seemingly become aware of in the new film.
The secret society is called The Illuminati and features Professor X alongside a new version of Iron Man, Fantastic Four leader Reed Richards, Inhumans king Black Bolt and Namor, an antihero who is King of the Atlantis.
It looks as if this group will be comprised of characters from different worlds thanks to the introduction of the Multiverse. For example, it’s being theorised that the Illuminati’s version of Iron Man will actually be Superior Iron Man, thanks to this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in the trailer.
It’s also being claimed that Reed Richards will be played by John Krasinski, although it’s unsure whether this would be the MCU’s official Reed Richards or whether Krasinski would be playing a different version from another world.
It seems like Doctor Strange 2 will tee up Black Panther: Wakanda Forever thanks to the introduction of Namor, who will serve as the sequel’s villain. He will be played by Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige once spoke about his desire to get Namor in the MCU, but admitted that acquiring film rights to the character proved difficult.
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Ultimately, Doctor Strange becomes a member of the Illuminati, who are formed in the aftermath of the Kree-Skrull War, which will form the basis of the forthcoming TV show Secret Invasion.
This suggests that Secret Invasion will take place before Doctor Strange 2 despite being released later in 2022.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released on 6 May.