When Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness arrived in theaters earlier this year, it completely shook up what we thought was possible about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of the most shocking components of the film was the introduction of the film’s iteration of The Illuminati, which not only included the returns of Patrick Stewart as Professor X and Anson Mount as Black Bolt, but finally canonized John Krasinski as Reed Richards after years of fans wanting him to play the character. In the months since the film’s debut, there’s been a whole separate conversation about what characters almost appeared in the Illuminati — and a new piece of storyboard art confirms two prevailing theories.
The storyboard, which was posed by artist Soren Bendt, reveals an assembled shot of the Illuminati, including Maria Rambeau / Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch), Peggie Carter / Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), and versions of Balder the Brave and Iron Monger. It’s a mystery who was expected to be in the Iron Monger suit, whether it would have been Obadiah Stane or a variant of Tony Stark.
Why did the Illuminati die in Doctor Strange 2?
The Illuminati’s appearance in the film was made even more surprising by the brutal ways that they all were killed by Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). As the film’s writer, Michael Waldron, revealed to ComicBook.com earlier this year, including The Illuminati was a dellicate balance.
“It’s easy to be seduced by the cheap laugh, the cheap cheer, whatever,” Waldron explained at the time. “But that’s never what Marvel or Sam [Raimi] were interested in. It was always about what’s right for the story, what’s right for Steven Strange, what’s right for Wanda. It was never about fan service, really. It was like, ‘If these Illuminati characters are here, they should be here because that’s who’s in the Illuminati in the comics, and that’s who would actually be in the Illuminati.’ That was our north star.”
What do you think of this storyboard art for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Would you have wanted to see Balder the Brave and Iron Monger in the movie? Share your thoughts with us in the commens below!
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now available on Disney+, and on all home media platforms.