Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opened up the catalog of Marvel characters to new heights, heavily featuring America Chavez and introducing a take on the Illuminati from Earth-838. There were even ideas for more characters to bring into the fray from other corners of Marvel lore - most prominently, Ryan Reynolds’ fan-favorite Deadpool.
Wade Wilson’s place in Doctor Strange 2 has been a hot topic since the movie’s release, especially considering that head writer Michael Waldron openly admitted to him being on the table for inclusion in the story. Fan videos have retroactively placed him in the story with his usual brand of comedy, even though he was nowhere to be seen in the sequel’s final cut.
Even after Reynolds openly admitted that he wasn’t in the movie, fans took this as another “Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man: No Way Home” scenario, but the man behind Deadpool turned out to be telling the truth. However, thanks to a new look into how Doctor Strange 2 was made, it becomes more evident that there were serious talks to have Wade Wilson debut in the MCU this year - and he even brought his reluctant friend, Cable.
Unused Doctor Strange Cameo for Deadpool & Cable
The Marvel Studios: Assembled episode for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness discussed some of the worlds that Doctor Strange and America Chavez fell through in their blast through the Multiverse.
One of the originally planned worlds highlighted Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool, which included a giant billboard showing numerous fun posters of Wade Wilson.
The main poster comes from the marketing campaign for Deadpool 2, where the Merc with a Mouth recreates Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" with Josh Brolin's Cable. The poster's history in the real world makes it even more fitting to be seen in a world where Deadpool's influence runs so deep.
The documentary also included multiple pre-vis images of Strange and Chavez jumping through these alternate universes, some of which made it into the final cut of Doctor Strange 2 while others didn’t.
Production visual effects producer Cyndi Ochs explained the “pretty amazing history” behind this shot, remembering how the team started with close to 30 ideas for worlds that could be used:
“That shot had a pretty amazing history. We started with many, many ideas. Probably 30 ideas of different environments that could be something that you’ve never seen before. Just this ride through the universes."
Editor Bob Murawski praised VFX supervisor Janek Sirrs as the mastermind behind this shot, coming up with “worlds that [they] really wanted to explore.” This included the world made fully of bones and the world where Strange and Chavez turned into paint:
“Our visual effects supervisor, Janek Sirrs. I mean, he was kind of really the mastermind behind that shot and a lot of the shots in our movie. He really came up with the worlds that we wanted to explore, so there was a lot of talk about which world do we wanna do. Well, here’s some cool ideas. Here’s an all-bone world. And here’s a world that’s like futuristic. And here’s a world where everybody’s paint."
Ochs confirmed that close to 15 universes made it into the film, filled with Easter eggs and challenges for the team to take on. She also explained how the moment “had to be one long shot” with so many elements to get right:
“And I think we ended up with about 15 universes that are in there now. Lots of little Easter eggs in there. I think the whole thing was challenging, because there’s so many elements that go from shot-to-shot and you couldn’t really work it as a punch-in. It had to be one long shot.
Deadpool & Cable Are On Marvel's Mind
2018's Deadpool 2 featured quite the fun love/hate relationship between Ryan Reynolds' titular anti-hero and Josh Brolin's partial antagonist Cable, particularly once they started working together. Looking at a universe that so heavily focuses on this character, it seems only fitting that their promo image is front and center on billboards for the people living there to look at.
This also continues to bring up the important question - when will Deadpool and/or Cable officially transition from the Fox world to the MCU?
Doctor Strange 2 was certainly a great option to use for these two characters' MCU introduction, even with Deadpool 3 already moving towards the start of production. Fans are already looking ahead to when they will actually make their first appearances under Marvel Studios, especially considering Josh Brolin's past role as Thanos throughout the Infinity Saga.
For now, however, fans will simply have to continue waiting for Deadpool to make his mark on everything Marvel Studios is building in the next few years.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney+ and is available for purchase via digital media and Blu-ray