Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is mere days away from blowing the collective movie-going world's mind. The Multiversal sequel has been in the works for quite some time, and after a couple of delays, a change on the director front, and a worldwide pandemic, the press has seen the Benedict Cumberbatch-led film, which is garnering mostly positive reviews.
The talk surrounding MoM has been mostly focused on the Multiverse, and it seems to be playing within the lead-up to release. Not much is still known about the actual story, and instead of revealing those plot details, Marvel Studios seems keen on emphasizing the infinite possibilities of said Multiverse.
But this is not the first MCU project to take a stab at the concept of alternative timelines/realities. Last summer's Loki set the stage for this new era of Marvel storytelling on-screen, as the Disney+ series blew open the Multiverse.
Because of this Multiverse of Madness and Loki are so intrinsically intertwined, as are their creative teams. And one of these key figures has expressed regret when it comes to how one of these projects will affect the other.
Waldron on the Rules of the Multiverse
In an interview with Digital Spy, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Loki writer Micheal Waldron expressed regret in relation to how they set up the Multiverse in Loki.
Waldron said that he wished he "hadn't have defined" some of the rules of the Multiverse "so clearly" in the Disney+ series as it may but creatives in a box down the line:
"We worked pretty hard on Loki to make it as airtight as possible. But there were times when I was like, 'Oh, shit, I wish I hadn't have defined that so clearly. I don't know why I had to be so specific in my time-travel television show about the rules of the multiverse',"
The MCU writer did say though that he was "glad that [he] came in [to Multiverse of Madness] with institutional knowledge of the multiverse" as it was easier to then get the team on "the same page as [him]:"
"But, I was glad that I came in with institutional knowledge of the multiverse and was able to get the creative team of Doctor Strange on the same page as me on everything. Because like with Loki, that's the most important thing when you're dealing with this."
He closed by saying that developing this "shared language" is the most important thing in this kind of storytelling, "otherwise it can get pretty confusing:"
"You have to all have a shared language of all this stuff, otherwise it can get pretty confusing."
It's Madness Out There
Tackling a Multiverse in any sort of story does not sound like an easy endeavor. And that difficulty would seemingly grow ten-fold when dealing with an interwoven narrative tapestry as dense and interconnected as the MCU. So, it is good that someone like Waldron is around to at least help define what the rules of this new storytelling device will be.
And that is going to be the key thing with all of this. With the rule book supposedly having been written on the MCU Multiverse, will Marvel Studios actually stick to those rules, or after a while will they have to go off-book?
It is that question that probably has Waldron showing signs of regret with how he helped to define the Multiverse, at least early on. Because he knows that some of these small details that exist in Loki will now have to be relied upon for years to come.
What if five years down the line those tools with which to craft an MCU Multiverse story are no longer viable? Well, then a new creative force will have to come in and change up that definition altogether again.
It's a problem that may weigh heavy on someone like Michael Waldron's mind, but Marvel Studios has shown that they can adapt as time passes, and will likely do so here if any issues were to spring up.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on Friday, May 6.