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Marvel Movie And TV Universes We Could See In Doctor Strange 2 From Least To Most Likely

Since "Doctor Strange" in 2016, the master of the mystic arts has become quite the important MCU character, with key roles in "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home." The latter saw the Marvel magician cast a spell that tore a rift in the fabric of spacetime and opened portals into alternate dimensions, and some of those dimensions led to previous non-MCU marvel movies.

In the upcoming MCU sequel, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," audiences will enter the wider multiverse, according to Marvel boss Kevin Feige. He spoke about the upcoming film earlier in 2021 and seemed to hint that big crossovers are coming, saying, "The title of the next Doctor Strange ... is our biggest clue that that movie will embrace the multiverse and the madness therein, very directly," which could mean that some wild alternate realities are on the horizon.

Recent rumors have heated up, suggesting that we may be in for some big cameos, and recent confirmation that the sequel is undergoing extensive reshoots has only added more fuel to the fire. So who could we see in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness"? If rumors of a Patrick Stewart cameo are to believed, perhaps there are other Marvel television and movie universes in store. We've got some ideas, though take them as pure speculation for now, as some are pretty far-fetched. But in a cinematic universe where seemingly anything goes now, we can't say for certain that any of them are truly off the table. Here are our picks from least likely to most likely.

Generation X

Marvel has made no secret of its desire to introduce mutants into the MCU, and a cameo in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is one way to tease their imminent arrival. Perhaps it's multiverse shenanigans that herald the mutant gene's activation in the MCU, or maybe mutants from another reality come through from another world to explain why we've never seen them before. Whatever the case, an "X-Men" multiverse cameo seems as likely as any, and while it might be safer to assume a crossover with the former Fox X-Men universe of movies, fans often overlook the earlier mutant worlds of Marvel television. 

In the 1990s, before Fox opened the pandora's box of mutants, Marvel itself gave the X-Men a go with the series "Mutant X." Running for three seasons, the series starred John Shea (who played Lex Luthor on "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman"), but no major Marvel characters were used. If Marvel really wants to be clever about it, though, the company could dig into the well of Marvel adaptations and use characters from the one-off 1996 television movie "Generation X." Led by Finola Hughes as Emma Frost, the roster of X-Men includes Banshee, Jubilee, and Skin. Though it never led to a series and wasn't well-received, it would be a fun easter egg for those who remember the wacky one-off movie.

Nick Fury: Agent of Shield

Even more poorly received than "Generation X" — but much more memorable and iconic — was David Hasselhoff in the 1998 TV movie "Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." The telefilm sees Fury retired and called back into service of his former agency to stop a new plot by S.H.I.E.L.D.'s greatest enemy, the terrorist organization called Hydra. The film's roster of characters includes the likes of Dum Dum Dugan, Contessa Allegra de Fontaine, Arnim Zola, and Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, among others who have since been added to the MCU. A tongue-in-cheek version of the cigar-chomping super spy, it was intended as a backdoor pilot for a series, but it never came to pass. But like many on this list, it's become legendary for reasons other than being a great film, and giving Hasselhoff's version of Nick Fury a spot in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" would be another delightful nod to Marvel's live-action past. 

1970's Spider-Man

In 1977, with DC Comics having success on the small screen with "Wonder Woman," Marvel tried its hand at a live-action adaptation of its own big-name superhero with "The Amazing Spider-Man." Thanks to its first episode airing two months ahead of "The Incredible Hulk," it holds the distinction of being the first-ever live-action Marvel television series. Starring Nicholas Hammond as Peter Parker, the show ran for two seasons (13 episodes total) and three television movies. An ambitious attempt to bring Marvel's colorful wall-crawler to the screen, the series was held back from greatness by budget and special effects limitations of the time, which left his web-slinging to be little more than a stop motion rope.

But if Marvel wants to use "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" as a way of paying homage to the company's history in live-action, including a retired Peter Parker played by Nicholas Hammond would be a great way to do it. With Doctor Strange having recently had his own adventure with not one but three Spider-Men, adding a new version of the ol' webhead would be a natural fit. At the same time, Nicholas Hammond lamented not being asked to reprise his role for an appearance in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," so a return in the "Doctor Strange" sequel would be a great way to make it up to him.

Ben Affleck's Daredevil

The blind superhero vigilante Daredevil has seen aborted attempts in live-action before. In the early years, the closest he came was a guest spot in the 1989 television movie "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk" until the 2003 film "Daredevil" that starred a young rising star named Ben Affleck. Not the hit Fox was hoping for, the movie rushed through many of Matt Murdock's best stories, introduced (and killed) Elektra, and featured both of his biggest villains, Kingpin and Bullseye. Affleck did what he could with a lackluster script, and while some claim the director's cut redeemed the movie, it has never rated highly.

Nevertheless, Affleck is as big a name as ever, and Matt Murdock's return in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" illustrates Marvel's desire to do more with the character, so it could be fun if we got a cameo from this version of the Man Without Fear in the "Doctor Strange" sequel. Affleck even recently filmed a return to the part of Batman for the upcoming "Flash" event film. Unfortunately, recent comments from the actor suggest he no longer has an interest in established properties and force us to place this one lower on our list than we'd like.

Howard the Duck

The first-ever live-action feature film adapted from a Marvel comic book, "Howard the Duck" was produced by Lucasfilm in the years following the original "Star Wars" trilogy. The cast included Lea Thompson  ("Back to the Future") and Tim Robbins ("Shawshank Redemption"). Thompson played the human love interest to Howard in a species-crossing romance that made most audiences cringe. Though a decent quirky comedy, it was not well-received and was a box office bomb, proving such a failure that it would be 12 years before another Marvel comic made it to the screen. But box office failure or not, it's become a beloved cult '80s classic in some circles, with fans lovingly appreciating its awkward sexual comedy and daring attempt to adapt a lesser-known character.

If Doctor Strange is indeed going to be checking in on some of the weirder former Marvel movie-verses, though, we can't think of any more bizarre than "Howard the Duck." Seeing Lea Thompson reprise her role as Beverly Switlzer alongside a puppet-suit Howard — perhaps decades on as a married couple — could be an appropriately weird addition to what promises to be a wild ride of a movie. It would also be a unique way of Marvel poking fun at its own complicated history in the film industry while helping bring Howard back to the public eye, perhaps in preparation for bigger things.

Wesley Snipes' Blade

Just the second live-action Marvel film ever produced, "Blade" was in many ways a trailblazer that set the stage for everything that has come since. Two years before "X-Men" and four before Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man," it was Wesley Snipes as the half-human vampire killer who paved the way for them all. The first film was a modest hit for Lionsgate, and the sequel added visionary director Guillermo del Toro to the mix. And while the third film, "Blade: Trinity," ended the trilogy on a sad, low note, many fans still have a soft spot for Snipes' version of Blade.

Marvel has already announced a new version of the character to be hitting theaters soon starring Mahershala Ali, who has already voice cameoed in 2021's "The Eternals" in a post-credits scene. Still, there's always room for a small part for the former version of the character in "Multiverse of Madness," even if it's just a brief moment. Snipes himself has been open about his desire to return to the part for years, though it remains to be seen if he'd come back for a cameo. Of course, Marvel may have reasons for not wanting to work with the actor, which leaves another possibility in the form of rapper-turned-actor Kirk Jones. Jones famously played the same version of Blade on the television adaptation of the film — "Blade: The Series" – for one season. Though it would be an obscure easter egg, it could be one worth including.

Lou Ferrigno's Incredible Hulk

One of the more beloved classic superhero shows, "The Incredible Hulk" launched in 1977 — the same year as Nicholas Hammond's "The Amazing Spider-Man" — and proved far more successful. Running for five seasons, star Bill Bixby played Dr. David Banner, while bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno donned green body paint to play the Hulk. Though Bixby passed away in 1993, Ferrigno has continued to be associated with the role, voicing the character in the 1996 animated series and even providing vocals for his early MCU appearances. 

While Ferrigno isn't a young man, he might still be able to believably play an older, aged version of the Jade Giant in a parallel reality. With Bill Bixby gone, perhaps this Hulk has since merged with his Bruce Banner identity similar to the MCU version of Smart Hulk, providing an update to the character. A return visit to the world of Ferrigno's Hulk would surely be welcomed by most fans, even if it would stand in contrast to the more grounded Hulk of the MCU. That said, if producer Kevin Feige and Sam Raimi are intent on bringing back a different version of the Hulk we've seen before, there may yet be better options.

Eric Bana's Hulk

After the success of "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" on the big screen, Marvel and Universal Studios brought the Hulk to theaters in a big-budget flick by acclaimed director Ang Lee. A cerebral, almost avant-garde superhero film, it wasn't quite the success either studio had hoped for, though it was no fault of the cast, who were led by actor Eric Bana ("Star Trek"), Jennifer Connelly ("Legend"), and Sam Elliott ("1883"). Though there's a sub-section of the fandom who have a soft spot for the film, it never received a sequel, and the character was rebooted five years later in the MCU. 

Currently, rights issues prevent The Hulk from appearing in his own solo film without Universal's involvement, but he's free to appear in other Marvel movies. Whether that would allow Marvel to use Eric Bana's version of Bruce Banner and the Hulk, we don't know, but if it does, it could be a fun inclusion, especially as Doctor Strange and the MCU's Bruce Banner have a history. Like Andrew Garfield in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," it might also allow Bana the chance to redeem himself for what was generally regarded as a disappointing film. If he could even have one extended sequence and the chance to deliver a powerful moment, as Garfield did, it could go a long way in the hearts and minds of fans.

Thomas Jane's The Punisher

Released in 2004, "The Punisher," starring Thomas Jane, was the first of several reboots of the character following the box office failure of the 1989 film that starred Dolph Lundgren. More faithful to the source material than the previous version, audiences finally got a skull-shirted Frank Castle mowing down mafia goons and making life hell for the criminals of New York City ... er, Tamba Bay. Okay, maybe it wasn't as faithful as it could have been, but it has still become a favorite for some fans, even if the Netflix series starring Jon Bernthal proved to be a stronger take on the character. And while Bernthal has said he'd love to return to the role, and Marvel would surely love to have him, he said he'd only return as Punisher if the character remains as violent and uncompromising as ever. 

If Jon Bernthal is insistent, and Marvel isn't ready for that brutality, introducing Thomas Jane's Punisher back into the MCU might be one route to take, and having Doctor Strange visit the world of Jane's 2004 film could get the ball rolling. Though it's been almost 20 years since he's been in the role, Jane is still at the top of his game and more than capable of returning to the role. But even if it's just a small cameo, Jane has always been a fan favorite, and seeing him with the skull on his chest once again would likely elicit the same kinds of cheers as we got when Tobey Maguire stepped back into the role of Peter Parker for "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

Tim Story's Fantastic Four

Released in 2005 and 2007, "The Fantastic Four" and its sequel were Fox's first attempt to bring Marvel's First Family to the big screen. This pair of superhero blockbusters were never huge box office hits, but they weren't bombs either, and despite their hit-or-miss nature, there's a lot to love about them. The parts were well cast, the visual style was the perfect mix of colorful superhero and grounded realism, and the films — though not great — struck the right tone. Before stepping into the role of Captain America in the MCU, Chris Evans was iconic as Johnny Storm, bringing just the right amount of light-hearted flare, while Michael Chiklis was perfectly gruff as Ben Grimm. 

With Fox movies now under the Disney umbrella, bringing back this version of the Fantastic Four for a small part in "Doctor Strange and the Multiverse Of Madness" would be the perfect mashup. With rumors recently surfacing that a member of the team might appear, maybe we'll get a look at a new version of Johnny Storm. Or perhaps, like Andrew Garfield in "No Way Home," Marvel Studios will bring back the talented cast for an extended scene or two and give them better material to work with. 

Sony's Spider-Men

With the massive success of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" — both critically and commercially — Marvel Studios has to at least be considering one or both of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire to reprise their roles as Spider-Man in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. With Sam Raimi at the helm, it feels like a natural fit, too, though perhaps Tobey Maguire is too costly to bring back for a glorified cameo. Either way, the loving embrace they received from their return in the most recent "Spider-Man" film has already led to rumors that one or both could return for more projects, so the "Doctor Strange" sequel seems like the perfect place to start.

We also know that Sony "owes" Marvel Studios at least one appearance from Spider-Man in an MCU film as part of their partnership deal, but there's nothing that we know of that says it has to be Tom Holland's version. Seeing either Garfield or Maguire step back into the role for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" just makes too much sense to ignore for a variety of reasons. After all, they are the only two heroes who Strange has met from another reality, so if he's looking for help across the multiverse, he may already be able to count these two as allies.

Fox's X-Men

The longest-running non-MCU superhero "universe," Fox's "X-Men" film series ran from 2000 — when it launched with Bryan Singer's "X-Men" — to 2020 when "The New Mutants" was finally released after multiple delays. The franchise has encompassed movies ranging from "X-Men: First Class" to "Deadpool" and "Logan," with many of them becoming beloved classics (with a few flops sprinkled in). Make no mistake: If there's any Marvel TV or movie universe outside the MCU that fans would react strongly to, it's this one. With Fox being acquired by Disney in 2019, it's also no longer a contractual issue — it's as easy as just asking the actors to come back. 

Whether Hugh Jackman or Patrick Stewart would agree to return after vowing to never reprise their roles again is anyone's guess, but we've already been teased with an appearance by Evan Peters as a quasi-Fox version of Quiksilver in the MCU in "WandaVision." Could that have been a trial run for how audiences would respond? With rumors and supposed leaks suggesting that a cameo from Professor X — played by James McAvoy or Patrick Stewart — is in the cards, we think there are at least even odds this one happens. Whether it's Stewart, McAvoy, Jackman, or someone else, if Marvel wants to put butts in seats for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" with a cameo from a non-MCU universe, they can't possibly do better than an appearance from Fox's X-Men.