While the Multiverse is a concept explored in both Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home, it’s not until Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness that it’s really expanded upon in full. The concept was teased even before those three projects—Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio actually claims to be from another universe shortly after his introduction in Far From Home. Sure, he was lying, but it still counts as a tease.
What’s interesting about the sequence, however, is how he claims that the universe he has arrived in is designated Earth-616. Oddly enough, he was right on the money.
But how could he have known this? Seeing as he wasn’t an actual Multiversal traveler, did he just make an insanely lucky guess? Now, the screenwriter for Multiverse of Madness has commented on the possible coincidence.
The Questionable Mysterio Easter Egg
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron commented on a potential plot hole from Spider-Man: Far From Home.
In the 2019 film, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio claims that the MCU’s universe is 616. The twist is that he isn’t a Multiversal traveler at all—so how in creation did he guess the number right? Especially since not even anyone in Multiverse of Madness knew until Earth-838’s Christine Palmer revealed it.
Waldron admits that “it begs the question,” asking, “is it just a coincidence?:”
“… I guess it begs the question, What did Quentin know? He was a smart guy. Um, is it just a coincidence? That’s… I don’t know…”
When given the theory that it came to him in a Multiversal dream, the writer exclaimed: “There you go!”
Doctor Strange and the Madness of Mysterio
Many fans have likely been scratching their heads over this seemingly notable plot hole. However, the idea of the designation coming to him in a dream fits within all the concepts introduced in the latest Marvel Studios film.
Another odd coincidence is how Mysterio claims that his own universe is 833, which comes strangely close to the Illuminati's Earth-838. Maybe Marvel just needs to start choosing more unique numbers.
In all honesty, it was most likely an unintentional oversight. At the time, they probably just intended for the number drop to be a fun reference, without realizing that only three years later, the studio would actually give the proper designation of 616 to the prime MCU universe.
Though, fans probably wouldn’t say no to another actual Multiversal Mysterio coming into the picture at some point in the future.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is playing in theaters worldwide.