Marvel’s next summer blockbuster–Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness–is still four months away from releasing but speculations are already on as to what new twists the movie will introduce in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). But leaks about new lines of toys connected to the movie have indicated that at least three new villains may be seen in the film.
The Doctor Strange sequel takes off from where Spider-Man: No Way Home ended. Doctor Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) will be seen facing the consequences of his botched spell from No Way home, which fractured the multiverse. The concept of multiverse in the MCU has also been dealt with in two Disney+ series- Wandavision and Loki. Due to the MCU Phase 4’s multiversal nature, there were speculations from fans that the film could include multiple variants of the same characters.
The film’s trailer, released last month, confirmed that with a glimpse at what looks like an evil Doctor Strange. But now, action figures from the Marvel Legends line, which are released as tie-ins to the films, show a third variant of the character. The character, called Defender Strange, looks different from both the versions seen so far, and may well be from a third universe.
But what’s most interesting is that the merchandise line-up teases newer villains. Another action figure in the Marvel Legends series is Master Mordo, a variant of Mordo, the wizard character played by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the first film. Master Mordo or Baron Mordo have often been antagonists in Doctor Strange comics.
The Lego Toys series of Multiverse of Madness also teases two new monster villains – Shuma-Gorath and Gargantos. Shuma Gorath is a squid-like monster with one eye. The character made a cameo appearance in Disney+ animated series What If? But while one line of toys lists the tentacled monster as Shuma-Gorath, another one names the same character Gargantos. The toy’s box shows Doctor Strange and two other characters battling it. Both Gargantos and Shuma-Gorath have been prominent villains in the Marvel comics.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness releases in theatres on May 6 and it is expected that Marvel will drop at least one more trailer before the release, which may introduce some of these characters or at least hint at them. The film, directed by Sam Raimi, stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead along with Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Xochitl Gomez, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.