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Doctor Strange 2 To Feature Surprise New Characters

The next solo outing for the Master of the Mystic Arts will contain some surprises.

Marvel boss Kevin Feige recently shared that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will introduce some never-before-seen characters into the MCU — ones that he promises we won't be expecting. (via ComicBook)

Feige made his remarks while visiting the New York Film Academy, and during the course of giving a group of students a bit of insight into his process, he apparently decided that the time was right to divulge just a bit more info about the highly-anticipated Doctor Strange sequel. Sure, he may have just been chatting with some kids on a college campus, but it's not like Feige doesn't know that every single thing he says about any and all upcoming Marvel releases will be made public within roughly six minutes.

We already know that Doctor Strange 2 will co-star Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch, and that the events of the film will lead into the Disney+ series WandaVision, which appears to take place in some kind of alternate universe of her creation. Apparently, though, the pair's journey through the multiverse will bring them into contact with a new character or two.

Speaking about the generalities of the ho-hum, day-to-day grind of making the most popular movies in the world, Feige said, "Sometimes you're choosing [the] title hero, choosing which main character or main team you want to bring to the screen, and often times, it's as you're making and developing the movie, [you're asking] 'Who will come into it?' and 'Who will fit into it?'" 

Then, he segued straight into "holy crap" territory.  "The next Doctor Strange film, for instance, features some new MCU characters which will be making their debut in that movie," he said. "You won't expect or won't guess who it is, but we found a cool way to make it work, because we want to make a particular type of movie there, and there was a character who we always wanted to do something with who will fit really well there."

Feige then presumably batted down about a hundred questions concerning just exactly who in the hell he was referring to before proceeding with his talk. He didn't offer any specific details, because he is Kevin Feige, and that is just how he gets down.

What new characters might show up in Doctor Strange 2?

We'll take this as an invitation to speculate, because that is how we get down, and we have an idea what Feige means when he says that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be a "particular type of movie." It'll pretty much be the closest the MCU has come to an out-and-out horror film; don't forget, director Scott Derrickson has strong ties to the genre, having fielded such excellent fright flicks as The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister.

During the same talk at the NYFA, Feige said that Doctor Strange 2 won't exactly be a horror movie; instead, it'll be "a big MCU film with scary sequences in it." But given this, its multiverse-spanning aesthetic, and the fact that Scarlet Witch can be (in the comics, anyway) downright terrifying, we think we have an idea of the vibe Marvel will be going for here.

So, who could the flick be introducing? The obvious guess: Blade, the half-vampire hunter of bloodsuckers who will be getting his own solo vehicle in Phase 5 (and who will be portrayed by two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali). So far as we've seen, vampires don't actually exist in the MCU, and porting them over from another universe — along with the guy who hunts them for a living — would quickly remedy the issue of how to best go about introducing them. However, prone though he may be to bouts of word salad-ing, Feige tends to pick his words about upcoming projects carefully — and since he basically dared us to guess who he was talking about, we doubt that the obvious guess is the correct one.

Strange's nemesis Brother Voodoo and sometime love interest Clea would also be pretty obvious guesses, and even if one or both of them do show up in the Sorcerer Supreme's sequel, Feige likely wasn't referring to them. It's also been speculated (by us, among others) that the flick could serve to introduce the X-Men and/or Fantastic Four to the MCU; these are certainly characters Marvel Studios has "always wanted to do something with," but again, this seems too obvious.

Our guess? Man-Thing. The character has been called Marvel's answer to DC's Swamp Thing, but it'd be more accurate to say it's the other way around; the first Man-Thing story was published two months before Swampy made his debut. The character is a monster composed entirely of plant and vegetable matter who lives in the swamps of the Florida Everglades; an empath, he can sense emotions, and fear causes him to attack. He also secretes a highly corrosive acid when in attack mode, hence his comic series' awesome tagline: "Whatever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing's touch!"

Not only is the character totally weird enough for inclusion in Doctor Strange 2, but check this out: during the character's initial run in the Marvel anthology series Adventure into Fear, it was established that the Man-Thing's swampy habitat is actually an interdimensional portal known as the Nexus of All Realities, and he became its guardian. As such, he had occasion to encounter all kinds of dimension-hopping baddies and assorted weirdos, including one that has briefly appeared in the MCU before: Howard the Duck, whose first-ever appearance was in a Man-Thing story in Adventure into Fear #19.

In fact, we're starting to feel like we'll be shocked if it isn't Man-Thing Feige was referring to; he's a great character, and how better to introduce him than during the course of the multiverse-spanning antics of Strange and Scarlet Witch? You're a clever one, Mr. Feige, but we feel like we're starting to speak your language.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits the big screen on May 7, 2021.