As Phase 4 draws to a close and Marvel Studios' next round of announcements at D23 draws near, the main focus of fan speculation is undoubtedly on the MCU reboot of the Fantastic Four and just who has been cast as Marvel's first family.
While there's definite interest in who will play Sue and Johnny Storm and Benjamin Grimm's the Thing, the role of Reed Richards has been driving the conversation, and that's largely due to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
When Doctor Strange 2 premiered back in May, the film's biggest pop was the reveal of John Krasinski playing Reed Richards as part of Earth-838's Illuminati.
While only Feige and company know who will also be playing Earth-616's Mr. Fantastic, fans now know that Doctor Strange 2's writer always had plans to include Reed Richards.
And, if it weren't for the Illuminati, he would've been introduced in a compltely different way.
Michael Waldron's Fantastic Four Post-Credits Scene Revealed
In an interview with Empire, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron discussed the film's Reed Richards cameo, as well as the Fantastic Four post-credits scene he penned for the original script.
According to the writer, he "always wanted Reed Richards" in Doctor Strange 2:
"That's the big one, right? I always wanted Reed Richards in this thing."
In fact, before the Illuminati scene was even on the table, Waldron wrote Mr. Fantastic into the film's original script via a post-credits scene set in the Baxter Building:
"In my very first draft, I wrote a tag just for the hell of it, of the events of the movie being recorded and reviewed by somebody in the Baxter Building, and a stretchy hand coming into frame to run it back. Reed is probably my favorite Marvel comics characters so I was always gunning to get him in here somewhere."
Therefore, if the Illuminati sequence had never been realized, this moment could've been Reed Richards' introduction into the MCU.
Is Michael Waldron Writing the Fantastic Four Reboot?
When it comes to Multiversal stories, Michael Waldron appears to be Marvel's go-to guy having written Season 1 of Loki and Multiverse of Madness.
Even though he's confirmed to write Kevin Feige's Star Wars film, it wouldn't be surprising if he's already been tapped for another MCU project within this newly coined Multiverse Saga, such as the Fantastic Four's solo movie.
If true, his first draft post-credits scene just got a lot more interesting.
For instance, did Waldron write this scene as taking place on Earth-616, Earth-838, or somewhere else entirely? And, if it is on Earth-616, just where in NYC is the Baxter Building?
It's also worth noting that this post-credits scene and the film's Illuminati sequence, both of which Waldron penned, skipped Reed Richards's origins and presented him as an established member of the Fantastic Four.
Interestingly enough, Marvel has already said the studio's reboot would follow suit. Coincidence? Only time will tell.
Hopefully, audiences will learn about Marvel's plans for the Fantastic Four reboot during Marvel's presentation at the D23 Expo on September 10.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is available to stream on Disney+.