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Hercules Has Seen
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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness FAQ

I am – Hercules!!

What’s it called?
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

Who’s responsible?
Sam Raimi (“Darkman,” “Army of Darkness,” “The Quick and the Dead,” the first three Tobey Maguire “Spider-Man” movies), directs from a screenplay by “Loki” creator Michael Waldron (“Rick & Morty”). (Waldron is also reportedly scripting a new Star Wars movie for Lucasfilm and Marvel movie mastermind Kevin Feige.)

Hey, didn’t Waldron’s old “Rick & Morty” boss, “Community” mastermind Dan Harmon, do an uncredited rewrite of Cumberbatch’s first “Doctor Strange” movie?
He did.

What says Disney?
“The MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.”

What is Disney not telling us?
We learn early on the “mysterious new adversary” is The Scarlet Witch, who has grown crazy and murderous since the death of her robot boyfriend in “Avengers III.” Strange’s main mystical ally this time around is America Chavez, a new superpowered character who cannot at first control her ability to transverse universes.

Is “Madness” any good?
It is a decent Marvel movie, though disappointingly not as wonderful as Raimi’s “Darkman” or his first two Spidey movies. Also, this one made me laugh less than most Raimi movies do. The best part of the new Strange is a supergroup superteam dubbed The Illuminati that, for the first time if I’m not mistaken, utilizes intellectual property acquired via Disney’s absorption of 20th Century Fox. The Illuminati turn up in the second hour.  My second favorite part is perhaps the movie’s Raimiest, with a rotting zombie Strange combatting his chief adversary with an army of darkness.

Is “Madness” as good as last year’s “No Way Home” or “The Suicide Squad”?
It is not.

How does it start?
“Did that kill it?” America asks Ponytail Doctor Strange.

Does Owen Wilson’s Time Variant Authority agent Mobius (not to be confused with Jared Leto’s Morbius) appear in this? Does Loki and/or his girlfriend Sylvie and/or Kang?
I noticed no member of the cast of “Loki.”

Does Bruce Campbell reprise any of the roles he played in Raimi’s Spider-Man movies?
I’m saying no. Campbell plays a street vendor in Universe 833. Or maybe 883.

Captain Carter’s shield is on the poster.  Is Hayley Atwell in this?
Hayley Atwell is my favorite part of this movie.

Is Spider-Man lurking about?
No, though Strange of course acknowledges his multiversal adventures with young Peter Parker.

The Illuminati in the 2005 funnybook series consisted of Stephen Strange, Charles Xavier, Reed Richards, Black Bolt, Namor and Tony Stark. Does it boast a similar membership in the MCU?
Namor and Iron Man are not part of the mix.

So Tom Cruise does not play Tony Stark?
Tom Cruise is not in this movie. And, for the record, I judge anyone willing to follow Robert Downey in that role either very brave or very foolhardy.

Do we see Patrick Stewart’s face?
Yes. Interestingly, the Professor X we meet here seems to be the one from Fox’s old 1990s cartoon series!

Is Xavier the only member of The Illuminati we see clearly? Or do they handle the Illuminati the way the "Peacemaker" season finale handled the appearance of The Justice League, with some of the members in silhouette?
We see all of their (familiar) faces.

Familiar? Does Ioan Gruffudd or Miles Teller play Reed Richards?
They cast someone who has never played the role before.  Someone more famous.

Does Anson Mount, who played Black Bolt in ABC/Marvel’s supershitty “Inhumans” series, reprise that role here?

Given that Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Wanda Maximoff the Scarlet Witch, is second on the call sheet, is it a safe bet that somehow Paul Bettany reprises his role as The Vision?
If Bettany is in this movie, I did not notice him.

Is Erik Lensherr in this? James Logan? Deadpool? Asgardian warrior Baldar the Brave? Tobey Maguire? Andrew Garfield?
None make appearances as far as I noticed. But man, sometimes that big screen gets awfully busy!

Does Charlize Theron play the sorceress Clea?
Only during the credits.

Speaking of returns, how much screen time do Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Chiwetel Ejiofor get?
Wong may be the busiest here. McAdams and Ejiofor get a lot to do in the second half. Stuhlbarg’s appearance is far briefer.

Was the multiverse created by Peter Parker, or Loki’s girlfriend Sylvie, or WandaVision, or “What If?” or what?

This new character, America Chavez. She can travel between multiple universes even before she meets Strange?
Yes, but she can do other things. She dresses a little like Steve Rogers and has a big five-pointed star on her back. Chavez also has two moms; will governor Ron DeSantiis work to get this Disney movie banned from Florida?  She’s lent much likeability by teen actor Xochitl Gomez (Netflix’s “Baby-Sitters Club”).  

What’s weirder, the fact that these Strange movies star two guys named Benedict or that Benedict Wong plays Wong?
Benedict is still such an unpopular name. A guy named Benedict Samuel played the Mad Hatter in 16 episodes of “Gotham”; I think they should cast him in the next one.

How does it end, Spoiler boy?
Three ways:
1) “So am I, kid. So am I.”
2) “Not in the least.”
3) “It’s over!"

Thursday. Cinemas.

I warn you not to defy me!

I am – Hercules!!

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