Ten days before the Doctor Strange sequel hits theaters, a new teaser confirms The Illuminati.
Fans of the Marvel Comics lore have already figured out from the post-credits leaked with Spider-Man: No Way Home that The Illuminati would be involved. However, Marvel Studios did not confirm or deny that the powerful clandestine group of figureheads from various superhero teams would be in the film. The biggest indication was Patrick Stewart’s acknowledgment that he was returning to this film as a version of Professor X.
What does the new teaser reveal about The Illuminati and its involvement in The Multiverse of Madness? Check out the details below.
The Illuminati will see you now
The new teaser for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens up with reminding viewers that the film releases in 10 days.
In 10 days…nothing will prepare you for the truth. 🤯
— Doctor Strange (@DrStrange) April 26, 2022
There are also new shots of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange alongside America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) bounding across the dimensions. Plus, there are a few shots of The Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) apparently shattering the Mirror Dimension and turning the shards into serrated blades.
But the real clincher for this teaser with Mordo announcing:
Stephen Strange. The Illuminati will see you now.
The scene with Doctor Strange facing The Illuminati also has a clearer view. This finally establishes that The Illuminati in the MCU will be an organization that oversees the multiverse itself, rather than the Earth-bound cabal in the comic book.
Who will be in this Illuminati?
Now that The Illuminati has been confirmed, the question on all Marvel fandom’s lips is who will be the members?
In the Marvel Comics, the founding and long-time members of this secret cabal are Iron Man/Tony Stark, Doctor Strange, Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Black Bolt, Namor, and Professor Charles Xavier. T’challa/The Black Panther was offered a seat, but declined. The membership would change with replacements or additions, such as Beast/Hank McCoy and Captain America/Steve Rogers.
Given that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is rumored to be linking all the previous and current Marvel films and properties, there are a number of possible suspects. We break down the most rumored and popular speculations so far.
- Professor X – This is pretty much confirmed. Patrick Stewart has acknowledged that he would reprise his role for the Doctor Strange sequel. However, he did not confirm or deny that it would be the Professor X from the X-Men films he previously appeared in since the first movie. One interesting speculation is that it would be the Professor X from the popular animated series!
- Baron Mordo – Although Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is very visible in the trailers, it is speculated that this is not the MCU Mordo that appeared in the first Doctor Strange film. This might be a new Baron Mordo that is more heroic and is working with another member. Speaking of which…
- Defenders Strange – The Doctor Strange with slick hair and cool black and red costume might be the version that already has a seat in The Illuminati. Although it is implied this version might only appear for a few scenes, it would make sense to have a version of Doctor Strange in The Illuminati who is judging the reality breaking actions of the MCU Strange.And perhaps this is the version of Stephen Strange that Wanda was referring to as being called a hero, while her reality warping from WandaVision labeled her as a villain?
- Superior Iron Man – Since Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) made the ultimate sacrifice to save the universe from Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Endgame, the MCU has had a void in its heart. And while it is understandable that RDJ would like to keep the epic conclusion of Tony Stark’s journey preserved, returning as a different version of the Golden Avenger is not out of the question. But if RDJ is not returning, one other heavily rumored member of the Illuminati is the Superior Iron Man with Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick) in the role. Cruise appearing as a one-shot version of an even more arrogant and confident Iron Man would be poetic. The superstar actor negotiated to produce and star in an Iron Man movie in the early 2000s, if things went differently.
- Namor – Prince Namor, the Sub-mariner, is set to appear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as the primary antagonist. Speculations are high that Tenoch Huerta has been cast for the role. But could he appear earlier in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as a different, more benign variant? It might be a possibility, but Marvel might want to reserve the character’s first appearance in the MCU for the Black Panther sequel.
- Mister Fantastic – A new Fantastic Four film is being developed under director Jon Watts. But before that film gets into production, a nod to the two Fantastic Four films in the mid-2000s would be appropriate. Bringing back Ioan Gruffud as Reed Richards in The Illuminati would be a great sendoff before the FF franchise gets rebooted.
- Black Bolt – Anson Mount (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds) played the king of the Inhumans in the failed TV series. However, fans did recognize his performance as one of the better parts of that project. Moreover, the show was a spinoff of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is enjoying a resurgence of popularity on Disney+. His appearance would serve as a nod and connection to its continuity.
- Captain Carter – The What If…? animated series on Disney+ is already being alluded to with the appearance of the undead Doctor Strange and Strange Supreme. But if one character from that series might appear as a member of The Illuminati, it will probably be Captain Carter played by Hayley Atwell.
- Black Panther – While the comics version had Black Panther turn down the offer of a seat in The Illuminati, the MCU version might not. And while Chadwick Bozeman sadly passed away, there is another actor who might fill the role: Wesley Snipes. Snipes played Blade in a trilogy of films which helped pave the way for the creation of Marvel Studios. But Snipes also had early negotiations to produce and star as Black Panther in a separate project in the late 1990s. His appearance as T’Challa would be a nod and sendoff to both Blade and Black Panther.
While The Illuminati’s main council are likely set to mirror the comic book origins, the MCU version might have others who serve as enforcers or guardians. We’ve seen the robots being employed to be reminiscent of Ultron. Could a version of the killer robot also appear as a heroic version?
Plus, we have seen a version of Captain Marvel fighting with Wanda in the teasers. But this might be Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), instead of the Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) version. Could other Marvel characters be appearing in the same type of role as the hands of The Illuminati? With the speculated cameos growing to include Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, and Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, that is certainly a possibility.
We’ll find out soon enough. Directed by Sam Raimi, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness casts its spell to theaters on May 6, 2022.