Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness brought some of the craziest storylines in MCU history thanks to the exploration of multiple universes, opening the franchise in ways that had never been seen before. The movie even brought the MCU's first member of the X-Men in Patrick Stewart's Professor X, setting the stage for the mutants to make their true introduction in the future.
Ever since Disney acquired the rights to the X-Men thanks to the merger with 20th Century Fox, fans have been anxious to see when the mutants will make their way into the MCU alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Rumors have pointed to a project in development entitled The Mutants, and there's, of course, Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool 3, but things are being kept under the radar on all other fronts.
Doctor Strange 2 had the unique opportunity to potentially bring in some of those characters for the first time, as it explored America Chavez's ability to travel across the Multiverse and explore new worlds and ideas. However, the movie's head writer explained why that wasn't an idea that he and the team pushed for in the development process.
Doctor Strange 2 Not Touching X-Men
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron spoke with Entertainment Tonight about not using the X-Men in the latest MCU movie.
Waldron admitted that the team "talked about House of M" as an influence, but ultimately decided that the movie "didn't need mutants to be powerful" at this time. He also admitted that the mutants would have taken away from Wanda and Strange's story if they were introduced here:
"Yeah, we talked about House of M, and there’s plenty of examples of Wanda doing bad things throughout the comics in an effort to get her kids back. But ultimately this story didn’t need mutants to be powerful, I guess was our feeling. And, you know, wherever that lies on the timeline for the MCU, it didn’t feel like this was the right place to introduce it -- because then it suddenly would have just been about mutants. And this is really a story about Wanda and her grief and her descent into darkness in this movie."
He also discussed the level of input Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has on decisions like the ones made in this movie. Waldron wanted to make it clear "that this is the end of this chapter in (Wanda's) story," but that things could be left open for more in the future after talks with Feige:
"It’s all a collaboration with Kevin and certainly when it came to a character as pivotal to the MCU as Wanda, we talked about that. We tried to be clear that this is the end of this chapter of her story. Is there an opening for more story to be told down the line? I don’t know. It’s a comic book series, so you never know, right?"
No MCU Mutants...For a While
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Anticipation is high to see the X-Men officially join the MCU. This excitement comes after more than a dozen successful big-screen outings under Fox Studios that left so many potential comic stories on the table for Marvel Studios to use. However, even with all that hype, Waldron wanted to make it clear that Doctor Strange 2 was first and foremost a story about Stephen Strange and Wanda Maximoff.
The House of M storyline was something that had been discussed ever since WandaVision as Wanda moved toward being a villain, something that came to fruition in Doctor Strange 2. Even with that development though, bringing a new group of characters into this movie would have moved the spotlight off of her and Strange, especially with the Illuminati already making headlines in their own right.
Wanda's story is one that's been developing for the past seven years, leading to her role in this movie being a vital one for Marvel Studios to make sure it got right. The mutants will have their time in the spotlight in the foreseeable future, and the best part is that Waldron knows how the characters in Doctor Strange 2 and the X-Men deserve their moment to shine.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now playing in theaters worldwide.