Michael Waldron opens up about the seemingly missing Illuminati member in director Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Writer Michael Waldron talks about the missing Illuminati member in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Aside from continuing the MCU journey of Benedict Cumberbatch’s sorcerer, the film also further builds the burgeoning Marvel multiverse through the introduction of Earth-838. The alternate reality allows Marvel Studios to debut its version of the Illuminati, but Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hints that not everyone in the group is featured in the movie.
In Marvel Comics, the Illuminati is a secret team of extremely powerful superheroes who make decisions on important issues; each member functions as a representative of their respective superhero sector. The original Marvel Illuminati line-up includes Iron Man, Black Panther, Black Bolt, Namor, Professor X, Mister Fantastic, and Doctor Strange. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness features a slightly different roster with Peggy Carter’s Captain Carter, Mordo, and Maria Rambeau’s Captain Marvel joining Black Bolt, Mister Fantastic, and Professor X. The team, however, may have one more member that doesn’t appear in the Sam Raimi-directed sequel
speaking with THR, Waldron is asked about the owner of the vacant chair in the Illuminati’s meeting hall and whether or not it was purposefully left empty. the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness writer, understandably, doesn’t straightforwardly answer the question, even downplaying the extra seat by saying that it might have been a set decoration mistake. But, he also reveals that they have an idea about the identity of the missing Illuminati member. Read his full quote below:
That’s also an unanswerable question, but we talked about that a lot, though. Maybe that was just a mistake. Maybe the set [decorator] guy had one too many chairs. (Laughs.)
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness gave limited details with regard to Earth-838’s Illuminati. The film revealed that they were assembled by Doctor Strange, and they were significant in defeating Thanos in their universe. Other than that, it is unknown if they function differently than their Marvel Comics counterpart does. So, while Waldron floats the idea the extra seat in the Illuminati room may just be a set design miss, it’s possible that it was meant for another member. Marvel Studios is known for playing the long game, and they tend to include small details like this that will eventually factor into their future storytelling. Perhaps the lone Illuminati survivor from Earth-838 can return in future projects and play a bigger role than their deceased teammates. After all, with the multiverse evolving, traveling between alternate universes is getting easier.
Waldron has previously revealed that he doesn’t think other MCU universes have their own Illuminati team. Given this, it’s difficult to predict who the missing member is in Earth-838 — assuming that they do exist. That being said, it’s possible that they may be one of the original members of the team, such as alternate versions of Namor, Black Panther, or Iron Man. It’s unknown if Marvel Studios will revisit Earth-838 after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnessbut the mystery of the missing Illuminati member sounds like an interesting reason to go back to that universe.
More: Endgame Explains Why Iron Man Wasn’t In Doctor Strange’s Illuminati Team
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