The Marvel Cinematic Universe is heading towards an exciting storytelling opportunity as it explores the Multiverse. While the concept is pushed to the forefront in the recently-released Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it extends far beyond the Benedict Cumberbatch-led sequel. Loki provided the best explanation about the Multiverse through Jonathan Majors' He Who Remains, but the Sacred Timeline was eventually destroyed at the end of the series, thus leading to the birth of many different timelines.
That moment in Loki served as a game-changer for the MCU. Spider-Man: No Way Home explored the concept by showcasing Variants of Peter Parker and villains from alternate universes, but it seems that it was only the tip of the iceberg.
Now, a Marvel Studios producer has explained what's really going on with the franchise's Multiverse storyline.
Marvel Producer Responds to Kevin Feige's Multiverse Comments
Marvel Studios producer Richie Palmer sat down with Marvel.com to discuss the MCU's Multiverse storyline.
During the Season 1 finale of Loki, Sylvie kills He Who Remains, thus unleashing the Multiverse into the MCU. Palmer elaborated on this event even further, pointing out that if Sylvie didn't do this, the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home "wouldn't have been able to happen" while also describing it as "the reactivation of the Multiverse:"
“If the events of Loki never took place, if Sylvie didn’t do what she did, this movie and the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home wouldn’t have been able to happen. It was the activation of the Multiverse, or maybe the reactivation of the Multiverse at the end of Loki that really led to the possibilities that you see in What If…?, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
During the world premiere of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige cleared some confusion, saying that what “Loki and Sylvie did” at the end of their series directly “allowed all of [Spider-Man: No Way Home and Multiverse of Madness] to be possible.”
“There’s always a method to the madness. Even in the Multiverse. And for the Marvel.com fans who know that Loki and Sylvie did something at the end of that series that allowed all of this to be possible. He Who Remains is gone and that allowed a spell to go wrong in Spider-Man: No Way Home which leads to the entire Multiverse going quite mad in this."
Palmer further clarified Feige's comments, with him explaining what's really going on with Doctor Strange's spell during No Way Home:
“What Kevin was referring to about that spell at the end of Spider-Man is if that spell had just gone the way that Doctor Strange thought it would, even if Peter Parker messed it up so horribly like he did, it really still would have only affected people within our Universe. Doctor Strange wasn’t considering that he had to, in doing that spell and setting it up, worry about all the infinite other universes out there that are filled with people that know who Spider-Man is. That shouldn’t have been a factor. That was something that’s not known to Strange and Wong at that point that they have to be factoring in all these alternate realities in the Multiverse.”
The MCU Expands its Multiverse Storyline
The Multiverse is here to stay, and it's safe to say that it's only the beginning. Still, the concept of alternate realities is a confusing subject matter.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige previously confirmed that the top brass within the studio held a meeting to discuss the rules surrounding the use of the Multiverse, saying that it focused on "exactly how to really deliver on the excitement surrounding the multiverse." While there may be conflicting comments sometimes, Richie Palmer and Feige's combined statements made it clear that the franchise is going all-in with the concept.
The MCU's interconnected storylines are a perfect tool for explaining what comes next and what really happens. Although Loki head scribe Michael Waldron wished he "hadn't have defined" some of the rules of the Multiverse "so clearly" in the Disney+ series, strong connections like Doctor Strange's spell in No Way Home help support the idea of the Multiverse being unleashed, thus making fans understand of what's really going on.
During the events of No Way Home and even Multiverse of Madness, it's safe to assume that Strange and Wong are not aware of what happened in Loki.
While both of them will likely find out about Kang or He Who Remains sooner rather than later, keeping fans guessing about when that would happen is the fun bit of exploring these interconnected stories. In addition, finding out what Sylvie did would also help Strange to understand what really went wrong during No Way Home.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now playing in theaters worldwide.