Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness brought more than its fair share of cameo appearances into the MCU, despite a handful of them lasting only a few minutes thanks to the Scarlet Witch's attack. This included Anson Mount in an unexpected comeback as Black Bolt, which he played in the oft-maligned single season of Inhumans that ran on ABC in late 2017.
Black Bolt actually became the first casualty after the Illuminati was introduced in Doctor Strange 2, with Wanda Maximoff using his supersonic voice against him and making him blow his own head up. This moment has made the rounds on social media since it came on screen, even being referenced on late-night talk shows like Jimmy Fallon.
While many had complaints about Black Bolt being taken out so easily, the moment made its impact on fans before Wanda took out the rest of Earth-838's council of Multiversal heroes. Recently, the movie's head writer looked back to that moment and how it came to be in the MCU's first movie of 2022.
Doctor Strange 2 Writer Dives Into Black Bolt Death
Speaking with Empire Magazine, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness head writer Michael Waldron explained how Black Bolt's death scene came to fruition.
Starting off unsure of what to do with the script, Waldron noted that the team wanted the first death in the movie "to feel really horrific," showing that Wanda wasn't messing around. This led to director Sam Raimi coming up with the idea to have Wanda take away Black Bolt's mouth, showing his mastery of the horror genre in the development process:
“I was at a point in the script where I was like, ’Shit, I don’t know what to do. The movie needs to get drunk. We wanted the first death to feel really horrific: ‘Listen, don’t fuck with Wanda.’ We were sitting on Zoom discussing how we kill Black Bolt, and somebody said his power is shooting ultra-powerful energy from his mouth. And I swear to God, without missing a beat, Sam goes, ‘What mouth?’ And Sam just painted the scene for us, `... and then you just cut to him, Wanda’s just ripped his mouth closed, and he screams, and his head explodes.' That’s master of horror Sam Raimi for you.”
Waldron also examined the Zombie Strange moment in the final battle, which Raimi wasn't 100% sold on in the early stages of development. The director wanted to make sure that it was "the right thing for Doctor Strange" instead of just doing it because it was cool:
“It was the biggest eureka moment of the film. Sam’s initial reaction was caution, because he wasn’t there to just play the hits. Sam only cares about a Zombie Strange if it’s the right thing for Doctor Strange, not just because it’s cool if you’re a fan of Evil Dead.”
But once the idea was offered up, Raimi took it to a new level with the thought of bringing the souls of the damned into play:
“Sam’s like, ‘Alright, but if he’s going to do that, the souls of the damned should come after him,’ and suddenly Sam’s the ten-year-old in the room. That whole cloak-of-souls thing came from Sam being like, ‘You think you guys got some crazy shit?’ He elevated it even more with those demons.”
Sam Raimi's Impact on Black Bolt's Brutal End
Director Sam Raimi brought every bit of his filmmaking style to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with cast and crew noting how much the movie felt like a true Raimi creation. With so many deaths coming throughout the film, it only makes sense that Black Bolt's end was one of the scariest.
Even though Wanda's villainous turn shocked many, she held nothing back as she forced Black Bolt into one of the most brutal moments in MCU history by blowing his own brain out. Raimi made his intentions clear by wanting to show Wanda as a force to be reckoned with, and with the director's history in horror movies, it appears that the moment came to him effortlessly in the development process.
Black Bolt's future in the MCU is still a mystery, as is the future of the rest of the Inhumans, but Doctor Strange 2 gave the Inhuman king one of Marvel Studios' scariest moments in history, which was only one of many in this Multiversal sequel.